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Full text of "Bodines; or, Camping on the Lycoming"

li 



^3 5 



B O D I N E S: 



OR, 



Camping on the Lycoming. 



A COMPLETE PRACTICAL GUIDE TO "CAMPING OUT." 



BY 

V 

THAD S. UP DE GRAFF, M.D., 

EDITOR OF "the BISTOURY." 



-^^^ ' 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PHILADELPHIA 

J. B. LIPPIIS^COTT 

187 9. 




^\<^^ 



Copyright, 1879, by Thad S. Up de Graff. 



S. S. HAMLIN^, Esq., 

MY CONSTANT COMPANION IN THE SCENES HEREIN DESCRIBED, 

IN MEMORY OF THE 51 ANY HAPPY DAYS 

IN CAMP AND STREAM, 

THIS VOLUME IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED BY HIS FRIEND, 

THE AUTHOR. 
Elmira, Juno, 1879. 



<^ 




I YIELD to no man in his admiration for the 
wild and grand scenery of the almost inaccessible 
regions of the Adirondacks, or the roaring, rapid 
salmon rivers of the Canadian frontier. I delight 
in the long voyages by canoe, and the laborious 
" carries" that are encountered in the Maine and 
North woods, when making excursions into the 
deep and quiet recesses of those grand old for- 
ests. I can enjoy " roughing it," with frying- 
pan, tin cup, coffee-pot, and blanket strapped in 
a pack upon my back, and follow my guide 
cheerily through the tangled underbrush, and 
slide down the steep declivities into the stream 

1* 5 



6 INTRODUCTION. 

below, rupturing cuticle upon hands and knees, 
and count it fun ; yea, most glorious sport, when 
trout are there to Avelcome my trailing flies, and 
the sun to lend his golden beams, illuminating 
and revealing the many and varied beauties with 
which our mountain regions abound. Such ex- 
cursions are delightful, beyond my ability to por- 
tray, even were I so disposed. But this is not 
the field I propose to enter : the charming witch- 
ery of such a life has been most fascinatingly told 
by Mr. Hallock, in his " Fishing Tourist," and 
by Mr. Murray, in his " Adirondack Tales," two 
books that are unsurpassed in the literature upon 
out-door life and sports. 

The mission of this book is widely different, 
— intended to teach all who would enjoy a so- 
journ in the woods, that it can be accomplished 
nearer at home, at points accessible by rail, and 
upon mountain streams Avhose cascades, glens, 
majestic forests, singing birds, and lovely ferns 
and flowers are not surpassed anywhere in the 
regions to which these books refer ; and whose 
trout are as sprightly and of sufficient size and 
number to satisfy the reasonable demands of any 
follower of Izaak Walton. 

K in these unpretending sketches I can quicken 



INTRODUCTION. 7 

the desire of any of my readers to experience 
many of the pleasures herein narrated, and have 
clearly pointed out how it may be accomplished 
inexpensively yet comfortably, if not luxuriously, 
I shall have achieved a work not wholly valueless, 
while to the more pretentious angler I hope to 
give some hints that may aid him in future ex- 
cursions. 

What follows is a truthful record and the ac- 
tual experience of two ardent fishermen, who, 
for eight years, during the month of June, have 
camped upon the banks of the beautiful and pic- 
turesque Lycoming Creek. What we did and 
how we lived I now propose to tell you. 

Is the theme one likely to enlist your atten- 
tion ? 

If yes, read on ; our trip commences. 




CHAPTER 

I. — Bodines . 
II. — The Preparation 
III. — Paraphernalia 
IV. — On the Stream 
v.— Shorty . 
VI.— The Loyalsock 
VII. — Other Streams 
VIII.— Fly-Casting . 
IX. — Visitors . 
X. — A Chat with Charles 
XI. — Rainy Days . 
X 1 1.— Ralston . 
XIII. — Sunday in Camp . 
XIV. — Around the Camp-Fire 

XV. — Cuisine . 
XVI.— Idle Hours . 



PAGE 

13 

27 

44 

68 

83 

]00 

116 

131 

145 

161 

178 

191 

208 

226 

244 

265 




DESIGNED BY FRED. E. MURRAY. 



FULL-PAGE. 

View of the Camp .... 

The Slope AV all— Landing a Trout . 

Shorty and Boy . 

The Tea-Party . 

Hamlin catching a Deer 

George announcing Dinner 

Dixey in the Thunder-Storm 

The Vine Stub 
Fireplace 
"Wading Shoes 
Fly-Book . 
Shorty's Hat 
Rustic Dining-Table 



TAIL-PIECES. 



PAGE 

Frontisjjiece. 
76 
86 
106 
134 
147 
185 

26 
43 
67 
82 
99 
115 
11 



12 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Frogs scrutinizing a Fly 
Camp-Stool and Trout 
Jim Crow .... 
A Chat with Charles . 
Charles with String of Suckers 
Dutchman Falls, at Ralston 
Hounds giving Tongue 
Creel and Lunch-box . 
Turning a Flapjack . 
Homeward Bound 



PAGE 

1:^0 
144 
160 
177 
193 
207 
225 
243 
264 
279 



B O D I N E S. 



CHAPTER I. 

BODINES. 
A Description of our Camping-Grounds. 

"'BoDiNEs! BoDiNES !' What a queer name 
for a book! Where under the sun did you 
run across such a title as that?" methinks I 
hear you exclaim upon picking- up this modest 
little volume and reading the gilt inscription 
that ornaments its face. 

Well, I'll tell you; then perhaps you will not 
think it so strange, after all. 

Just fifteen years ago my piscatorial friend 
prevailed upon me to "go a-fishing." At that 
time I had never thrown a fly nor caught a 
trout, — a circumstance that has been and ever 
will be a lasting regret. When, in my leisure 
moments, I chance to think how many of my 
days were passed without having been familiar 
with this delightful recreation, and how I sought 
sport and rest at the seaside resorts with com- 

2 13 



14 BODINES. 

panions no wiser than myself, I can but deplore 
the fate that did not bring me in contact with 
my good friend earlier in life. But the invita- 
tion finally came, and I at once acceded to the 
proposition, when a-fishing we went, — to Ralston, 
in the State of Pennsylvania and on the IsTorth- 
ern Central Railway, distant from Elmira just 
fifty-one miles, and then, as now, a famous re- 
sort for those skilled in the gentle art. fj 

At this delightful spot I obtained my first 
glimpse of the Lycoming Creek, and captured 
my first trout in its crystal waters. As the 
circumstance is recalled, I well remember the 
delights of that day, — how Hamlin and I fished 
through the " Sugar Bottom" side by side, he 
stopping momentarily to teach me how to mal^e 
a cast, to rescue my leader from an overhanging 
tree-top, or to cut a fly from some inaccessible 
region of my clothing; how he would raise a 
beauty at almost every cast, and land him too, 
while I would do just the reverse continually. 
I remember how vexed I became at having the 
trout jump to my flies, while I was utterly un- 
able to hook them, or, if I did, how they would 
be tossed into the highest tree-top, or sent spin- 
ning half-way up the mountain, through the 
vigorous jerk of my inexperienced arm. 

" Don't jerk so hard ; you will certainly take 
their heads ofi'!" was Hamlin's constant warning 
note ; but it required all the day to learn that it 



BODINES. 15 

was not the quick and strong strike that hooked 
the wary fish. 

At noon we returned to Mr. Myer's hotel, 
Hamlin with his creel full of trout, and mine — 
well, never mind; would rather compare catches 
later on in the season. But one thing I remem- 
ber both of us to have had in equal degree at 
least, and that was a splendid appetite. And 
rioiit here let me declare that Mrs. Mver did 
satisfy that craving for a trout-dinner perfectly. 
It was many years ago : since then I have eaten 
trout at various and sundry places ; but yearly 
have I found myself returning to Mrs. Myer's 
table to enjoy the trout that she knows so well 
how to prepare. 

Many were the days that my friend and I 
passed upon the creek in this neighborhood he- 
fore I became proficient as a fisherman ; but 
when that time did come I believe I lacked not 
enthusiasm for the sport, whatever may have 
been my shortcomings in skill at casting the fly. 
In the numerous excursions made in following 
years with those two famous fly-fishermen, Ham- 
lin and Sanders, they never succeeded in entitling 
me farther than Astenville, a little deserted min- 
ing-village two miles below Ralston. A trip 
through the " Sugar Bottom" and the deep pool 
back of Astenville always filled my creel, when 
I would wade ashore and foot it up the railroad to 
lialston, leaving my two friends to fish on down 



16 BODINES. 

as far as the " Slope Wall," which mystic spot 
seemed to he the one hright Mecca in travelling 
toward which their feet would never tire. But 
enough was quite a plenty for me, and, notwith- 
standing their frequent solicitations, their glow- 
ing accounts of the stream, of the scenery, flow- 
ers, rocks, and ferns they encountered upon the 
route, I could not he inveigled from my favorite 
haunts about Ralston. Finally, one day, more to 
satisfy my friends than to gratify any curiosity or 
anticipation of pleasure upon my part, I skipped 
the Sugar Bottom and waded on down the stream 
with them to the famous Slope Wall. The creek 
was open, wide, and free from overhanging trees 
or bushes, — which so much interfere with fly-cast- 
ing ; — ^the banks were sloping, grassy and bounti- 
fully studded with wild-flowers, while the forests 
on either hand were alive wdth merry singing- 
birds. Many delightful pools aftbrded us abun- 
dance of sport upon our way, and numerous were 
the fine fish taken at the mouth of Pleasant 
Stream, three miles below, and at " Powell's 
Pond," a little farther on. After leaving Pow- 
ell's the creek turns abruptly to the left, into a 
narrow channel, through which the water tumbles 
swiftly down, forming quite a cascade, that soon 
becomes lost in a shady, placid pool nearly half 
a mile in length. Going ashore, — it being too 
deep to wade, — we took the right bank and jogged 
on down until we arrived at another rapid, that 



BODINES. 17 

carried tlie water directly against a stone wall 
that seemed to be about nine feet high and per- 
haps eight hundred long, built as a protection to 
the railway running along its top. The strong 
wall received the water and turned it to the 
right, sending it along its entire length, a bub- 
bling, swirling, foaming mass. From between 
the huge stones of which the wall was built all 
manner of ferns, grasses, and mosses grew, with 
here and there a more pretentious bush, its green 
boughs drooping gracefully into the seething 
water below. Across the railway an immense 
mountain lifted its hoary head, whose sides were 
covered with stubs of massive hemlocks that 
were noble trees before the iire passed through, 
leaving desolation in its path. Considerable 
time had elapsed since the conflagration, so 
that where all had been dark and gloomy, Na- 
ture now wrought brightness and beauty. Young 
underbrush springing up covered the blackened 
surface with a green carpet that contrasted finely 
with the dead trunks that rose majestically from 
among them. To our right could be seen, 
through the straggling limbs of some grand 
old buttonwoods, a cultivated field, in which a 
number of native boys and girls, who seemed to 
be merry with their work, w^ere planting corn. 
Beyond was a high mountain, covered with 
balsams, hemlocks, spruces, pines, beeches and 

maples, whose varying foliage was arrayed right 

2* 



18 BOD I NFS. 

royally in the morning sunlight. In front of us 
the stream went dancing on until deflected 
against a high bank, in which the kingfishers 
had constructed their habitations, the owners 
thereof chattering, from the stubby limbs of a 
dead tree, their displeasure at our visitation ; 
and here was the Slope Wall, Avith all its delight- 
ful surroundings. Over this rapid we cast our 
ilies, and a right merry time we had in landing 
one another's fish. The deep pool above, the 
water in front of the wall itself, and the ripple 
by the high bank have afforded us capital sport 
from that day to this. A mile below this point 
the creek again turned to Jhe right, forming an- 
other delightful cascade that dashed against some 
huge moss-covered rocks that ages ago lost their 
balance and slid from the steep mountain-top 
above to the stream below. To the right was a 
long deep bayou, into which flowed a branch of 
the creek that had taken a short cut and followed 
the foot of the mountain, so forming an island 
that extended to a point just where the two 
streams met. Upon this narrow high point of 
ground were growing two splendid pines, and a 
little farther up the slope, on still higher ground, 
two immense beeches and an elm, the great, 
long, crooked limbs of the first two reaching to 
the water's edge on cither side, while the elm 
threw its gracefully-drooping branches between, 
castino: a shadow so dense that we could not 



BODINES. 19 

resist the silent invitation to come ashore and 
rest. 

^'What a delightful place to lunch!" Hamlin 
said. 

" Capital !" Sanders replied ; then, examining 
his watch, hanging his creel upon a limb, and 
leaning his rod against the trunk of a tree, added, 
" It's about noon ; let us have our luncheon 
here : this is the coolest spot I've found to-day." 

So, we spread our eatables upon the bright 
green grass, under the beech, and laid ourselves 
out in comfortable but grotesque positions about 
them. 

Just before us, lool^ing toward the point of the 
island and between the trunks of the two pines, 
was a long, deep, and quiet pool. The right 
bank was formed by an almost perpendicular 
mountain, densely covered with hemlock, spruce, 
pine, and tulip-trees, under the green branches 
of which were seen laurels, rhododendrons, and 
ferns in one interminable jungle. Overhanging 
the pond were hemlock boughs, the ends tipped 
with bright new shoots that contrasted effect- 
ively with the darker branches beyond. Upon 
the water, not a ripple disturbing its glassy sur- 
face, reflections of the trees and mossy rocks, as 
well as of the old mill and railroad bridge, which 
crossed the stream farther down, produced a 
most charming effect. Farther to our left were 
other mountains, cleft to allow the passage of a 



20 BODINES. 

smaller stream to swell the waters of our quiet 
pond. 

Immediately across tlie creek and to our left, 
among a clump of willows, loomed up, high into 
the air, an old stub, limbless, weather-beaten, and 
densely covered with a clematis-vine that shot 
out its curling tendrils in every direction to the 
very peak. From the spot where we were re- 
clining, it was sharply defined against the clear 
blue sky that was opened to view from the cleft 
in the mountain, giving us a picture that required 
no Claude Lorraine mirror to intensify. 

Our dinner despatched, Ave lighted our cigars, 
seated ourselves upon the grassy knoll under the 
great beech, and took in the lovely surroundings. 

Sanders (always in search of a cool spring 
from which to slake his thirst) wandered up the 
bayou a short distance, when we soon heard him 
exclaim, from somew^here among the tangle of 
willows which covered the bank : — 

" I've found a spring ; come have a drink !" 

We rose, followed the direction of his voice, 
and soon came to a delightfully cool spring, bub- 
blino^ from amons: the roots of an old leanino" 
beech that stood by the edge of the water. "We 
all stooped down upon our hands and knees, and 
partook freely of its inviting waters ; then, stand- 
ing erect and gazing about upon the beauty of 
the scene, exclaimed, almost in chorus ; — 

"Oh, what a place to camp I" 



BODINES. 21 

Returning to the grand old beech, we seated 
ourselves again until our cigars were linished, 
then waded across the creek and through the 
willows, to find ourselves in a meadow through 
which was meandering a clear and crystal brook : 
and there, in the centre of a sloping grassy plat, 
with the railway and quaint old cabin that served 
for a depot in front, the sombre mountain, that 
had lost its bright hues in the evening shadows, 
for a background, and at the foot of which lay 
the quiet pond ; below, the roaring dam, near 
which tottered the old saw-mill, that seemed un- 
certain which way to fall, — there, in a little grove 
of cherry, apple, and locust trees, stood an old- 
fashioned dwelling, that spoke to us plainly, by 
its weather-beaten sides and moss-covered roof, 
of the days of long ago. 

The chimney was of heroic size, built of stone, 
half in-doors and half out, while great rents ex- 
hibited themselves in its broad top, which ap- 
peared above the ancient roof. At the gable-end, 
on one side of the chimney, a small window 
peeped out, with diminutive lights of glass, half 
concealed by a woodbine that clambered over its 
face to the roof above. To the front a little 
porch projected a few feet beyond the battened 
door, and over it climbed a wild rose, that shut 
in and adorned its sides. To the right of this 
porch was another small window, like its mate 
on the end, above each still more contracted ones, 



22 BODINES. 

that lighted the second story. Roses, hollyhocks, 
and peonies dotted the green lawn here and there, 
and among them stood a tall wooden pump with 
a long, curled, iron handle, that terminated in a 
large, many-angled ball. In the trough that con- 
ducted the surplus water into the grass was lying 
a venerable and toothless dog, who cast his blear- 
eyes toward us and made an effort at barking, 
failing in which, dropped his head and lazily 
lapped his drink. Entering upon the lawn by 
the garden gate, I inquired of my companions, 
who now came within speaking distance, — 

" Whose house is this ?" 

" Bodine's !" was the prompt response, as all 
three drew near its entrance. 

Upon a short bench nailed between one of the 
posts of the porch and the side of the house, we 
espied reclining a tall, elderly, smooth-faced 
man, with his coat and hat off, quietly smoking 
his pipe. As we approached, he rose, with a 
merry twinkle in his gray eye, and extended his 
great bronzed hand to my companions, bidding 
them welcome. After their salutations they 
turned to me, when Sanders, with a flourish of 
his hand toward the man, simply said, — 

"Squire Bodine, doctor;" at which he gave 
me his hand also, and the memory of that grasp 
causes me to squirm even now. 

" Walk in, gentlemen, glad to see you all. 
Good day's fishing, I hope ?" 



BODINES. 23 

The last remark with a rising inflection, to in- 
dicate the interrogative. 

We severally assured him of fi.ne success, and 
then, while my eye rested upon the mill-pond 
and the foam rising from the dam below, I re- 
marked, — 

" You catch fine trout there, doubtless ?" 

" Yes, sir ; in the evening, or early in the 
morning, we have splendid fishing, both above 
and below the dam. I have taken many a 
two-pounder on a black gnat just in the edge 
of the evening," the squire replied ; and then 
immediately added, " We had lively times here 
with big trout when I first moved to these 
parts." 

'^ How long ago was that ?" 

" Just forty years, — long before we had any 
railroad; the stage used to run along that moun- 
tain road yonder, across the pond" (rising, and 
pointing out its direction). " It made regular 
trips then between William sport and Elmira, 
and people would sometimes stop here to eat 
a meal of trout. Why, I could run down below 
the dam there, any time, and catch fifty trout 
— nice ones, too — in about half an hour's 
time." 

After much pleasant conversation with the 
squire, from which we learned that he was at 
once justice of the peace, postmaster, station- 
agent, and school-commissioner, supper was an- 



24 BODINES. 

nounced, when we entered the cosy old house 
and partook of a hearty meal prepared by his 
good wife and daughter Kate. 

All this fifteen years ago ! Many changes 
have occurred in and about " Bodines" since 
then. The old house has given place to a new 
one. A new station and store-house has been 
erected opposite the mansion, in which Harry 
Green keeps a neat little store that has become a 
great convenience not only to fishermen, but to 
the farming and lumbering community round 
about. The steam whistle on Robert Innes's 
large tannery now echoes from hill to hill and 
reminds us that the old valley has taken upon 
herself new enterprises. Several comfortable 
dwelling-houses are dotting the green sward in 
front of the squire's premises, giving the place 
quite the air of a little village. The creek has 
cut new channels for itself through the meadow. 
The hio-h bank — the abode of our kino^fisher 
friends — has been washed away, until the creek 
is ready to break through into its old channel, 
now occupied by the bayou next the mountain. 
"• Slack's Run," that comes murmuring down 
through the cleft in the mountains, empties itself 
into the pond lower down, and has changed its 
name to "Bloody Run," by reason of two mur- 
ders that have been committed upon its wild 
banks, since the peaceful days of yore. The old 
Slope Wall is greener and more lovely, while its 



BODINES. 25 

swirls and pools still afford the skilful angler 
abundance of sport. 

The picturesque point where we first stopped 
to lunch has become more beautiful, by reason 
of the improvements originating there during 
every June that finds us promptly upon its cher- 
ished banks. The bayou is larger, deeper, and 
filled with monstrous suckers, that go solemnly 
nosing about upon its pebbly bottom. The pond, 
with its rocks and overhanging trees, is grander. 
The stream, with its rapids near at hand, wider 
and more musical. The willows across the way, 
taller, shutting in our delightful little retreat 
from the observation of passers-by. The old stub 
with its beautiful vine, alas ! has fallen, but the 
vine itself has been trained to another tree, while 
graceful ferns are growing from the miouldering 
ruins of the fallen monarch. The stately beech 
has a mound about its trunk, covered with 
maiden-hair ferns, violets, and exquisite mosses. 
A pathway leads down from between it and a fine 
elm, to its left, either side of which is flanked 
with a row of immense ferns and Solomon-seals. 
Docks are built* upon the bayou side, in the shade 
of the mountain where we land the boats in our 
excursions to and from the farm-house. The two 
pines on the extreme end of the point are more 
stately, and lean gracefully to either side, giving 
a better view of the pond. Indeed, our island 
has become a little paradise, in which I have 



26 BODINES. 

written what follows; while wife and friends 
have spent many happy days in its cool shade 
and peaceful quietness. My children have played 
and romped among its wild-flowers, and hathed 
in its refreshing waters, renewed health and 
vigor keeping pace with their happy play. Pis- 
catorial friends, who figure so largely in these 
pages, have kept me company here, and joined, 
most heartily, in making our camp-life a time of 
perfect enjoyment and rest. In this immediate 
neighborhood have transpired most of the scenes 
which are herein portrayed. Under the branches 
of its lovely trees, surrounded with flowers, birds, 
and the melody of its rippling waters, have I 
spent many enchanting hours. What better name, 
therefore, can I give my sketches, dear reader, 
than the one nearest my heart, charming, lovely, 
dear old 

" BODINES" ? 




CHAPTER 11. 

THE PREPARATION. 

How to make your Tents and other Camp-Fixtures — Supplies. 

Our camp-ground could not be more conveni- 
ently located. We are high enough to escape 
any inundation from a sudden rise in the stream; 
a spring near at hand, and a large body of drift- 
wood lodged within easy reach. Good water and 
plenty of firewood are two essentials for com- 
fortable camp-life. The farm-house chimney is 
visible from our abode, whither we can paddle 
our canoe and secure fresh milk, eggs, butter, 
bread, or almost any article of food required. 

Such a location is indispensable, if you mean 
to take wife and children with you. But if gen- 
tlemen alone go, then it is not so important ; for 
one can live in the woods upon bacon, coffee, and 
biscuit, provided the fishing is good enough to 
warrant such a deprivation. But, as for me, I 
must confess to a liking for good, nutritious food, 
a comfortable bed, and pleasant surroundings, 
even if I do not capture quite so many fish. My 
friend Bev. Thomas K. Beecher, who has spent 
some time with me in camp, and who is a skilful 

27 



28 BODINES. 

flj-caster and a line shot witli the rifle, says I do 
not " rough it" enough, that my bill of fare is 
too good, my equipments too numerous, and my 
grounds too near civilization, to make the change 
from home-life sufficiently marked. 

Therein we differ. I cannot eat bacon, — I don't 
like it. I can't lie on the damp ground, — it gives 
me rheumatism. I don't want to go into the 
wilderness, where a letter or a telegram cannot 
reach me in a month, — I have a wife and children, 
and must know that they are well. I must not 
go far from home, to be gone two or three months, 
— my business engagements will not permit it, 
neither can I afford the expense. I must have 
good food, a comfortable bed, and dry quarters, 
because I am a dyspeptic ! 

Kow, there exist thousands of men, precisely 
in my predicament, who will be glad to know how 
I overcome all the objections enumerated. For 
such, uiore particularly, are these pages written. 
So much, then, by way of introduction to Avhat 
follows. 

The first thing, naturally, to be sought for is a 
good tent. I have tried a variety of kinds and 
sizes, and give my preference to a large and roomy 
one to sleep in. An ordinary wall-tent, eight by 
nine feet, is too contracted in which to live for a 
month. Of course, it can be done, but a larger 
one is much more preferable and not very expen- 
sive. I use a tent twelve by eighteen feet, five 



THE PREPARATION. 



29 



feet high at the eaves, and nine feet to the ridge- 
pole. Such a one gives room upon one side for 
two large beds (holding four persons), and a 
writing and reading table on the other side, with 
plenty of space for sitting and lounging purposes. 
Do not buy your tents : the manufacturers ask far 
too much for them ; make them yourself. I will 
tell you how. Mark out a diagram on your barn 
floor like this, 




DIAGRAM OP TENT. 



and I will show you how to construct a tent, 
twelve by eighteen feet, that shall be water-tight 
and cost you less than thirteen dollars. 

From the diagram, it will be seen that you will 
require six strips of yard wide " duck," twice 
seven feet and six inches long (or fifteen feet), 
making in all thirty yards. These must be sewed 
in a double seam, overlapping each breadth one 
inch. Make a hem one inch wide upon the two 

3* 



80 BODINES. 

ends that form the eaves. TJirou2:h this run a 
rope the size of an ordinary bed-cord ; at every 
breadth work an eyelet to receive the cords that 
hold the tent to the pegs. The cord running 
through the hem prevents the material from tear- 
ing. The price of the duck should not be more 
than sixteen cents per yard, making the roof to 
the tent cost four dollars and eighty cents. You 
will now require for the two ends twenty-one 
and one-third yards of hea\^ unbleached mus- 
lin, worth eight cents a yard, costing one dollar 
and seventy-one cents. Cut this into four strips 
seven feet long, and four more nine feet in length. 
Lay the two long ones in the centre, and the two 
short ones on each side of them, over your dia- 
gram on the floor, and cut off the corners so as 
to have them fit into the gable of the roof. Sew 
them together, except in the centre, where they 
may be joined for about four feet from the peak, 
and there " stayed" well with an extra piece of 
cloth, to prevent ripping or tearing. This open- 
ing in the centre pieces forms the entrance to the 
tent, and may be made still more secure by sew- 
ing an extra piece of muslin, five feet long, over 
this slit, fastening it only at the top. (This is 
optional.) This done, one end of your tent is now 
formed. Serve the remaining four pieces in like 
manner for the opposite end, then sew them to 
the roof. 

You will next need twelve strips of the same 



THE PREPARATION. 31 

material, five feet long, for the sides. Sew six 
of them together for each side, overlapping the 
seams one inch, as in the top, and when done, 
hem it one inch wide at the bottom. Pass a rope 
throngh this hem, and work eyelets at every seam. 
Sew the sides thus formed to the top, so as to 
allow it to project three inches, as seen at A in 
our diagram. 

This requires twenty yards of goods, costing 
one dollar and sixty cents, i^ow sew your cor- 
ners together, and work large button-holes upon 
one of the centre end pieces, from the ground to 
the eaves ; on the opposite one sew large wooden 
buttons, so that the ends can be buttoned together 
in case of a storm. I^ext, you will need a fly. 
For this you will require six pieces of muslin 
eighteen feet long, which, when sewed together 
and hemmed in the same manner as the top, with 
rope and eyelets in same localities, will form a 
shelter over the entire tent, projecting fifteen 
inches beyond, to carry the water free from the 
sides. This fly should not touch the tent's roof 
by a foot, except where it rests upon the ridge- 
pole; it catches the first shock of the rain, and 
prevents its falling through the real roof in a fine 
spray. It also keeps your tent cooler when the 
sun falls upon it. For this, thirty-six yards of 
muslin are necessary, costing two dollars and 
eighty-eight cents. 

You now have 



32 BODINES. 

30 yards of duck @ 16c. . . . |4.80 
77^ yards of muslin @, 8c. . . . 6.19 

Necessary rope, say .... 2.00 

$12.99 



your tent complete thus costing you less than 
thirteen dollars, not estimating your labor at any- 
thing. Indeed, so much pleasure will be found 
in constructing your own tent that thirteen dol- 
lars should be credited to it for the fun you have 
had. In that case, it has cost nothing, but, upon 
the contrary, you are at least one cent ahead on 
the transaction. I must further add that all 
these seams can be sewed upon a sewing-machine, 
with Clark's No. 40 spool cotton. The seams 
being double, are sufficiently strong to resist any 
strain to which they may be subjected. 

When searching for a tent of this capacity, we 
were asked eighty dollars for it by a manufac- 
turer, and of no better material t^an the one we 
made ourselves. Seven cords, ten feet long, will 
be required, with one end tied in the eyelet made 
at every seam along the eaves. Marline or tarred 
rope, about a foot long, must be tied in the eye- 
lets at the bottom of the tent, to hold it to pegs 
which will be driven in the ground to hold the 
sides perpendicular. Your fly will also need four 
ropes on each side, about fifteen feet long. 

Now, make a strong brine, using all the salt 
the water will dissolve, and plunge your tent and 



THE PREPARATION. 33 

fl}^ into the pickle, where it may remain two or 
three days. At the end of that time remove it, 
and spread it on a line to dry. Then go over it 
with a very thin whitewash, made from fresh 
lime, putting the solution on wdth a whitewash- 
brush. When dry, your tent is ready for use, — 
will never mildew or rot, and will he ready for 
service during your natural life. When you take 
it to the woods, a ridge-pole eighteen feet long 
can he cut, together with two upright poles nine 
feet high, with a fork upon the small ends to re- 
ceive and hold it in place. The pins and stakes 
are to be had in the woods in like manner, so 
saving trouble of transportation. Three per- 
sons can pitch such a tent in twenty minutes, or 
less. • Place the ridge-pole under the centre of 
the roof so that each end of it rests in the peak 
in a crotch of a pole. Then one person at each 
end can do the raising, holding the pole in 
place, while the third drives the pins and fastens 
the ropes. But it seems superfluous to teach any 
one how to pitch a tent. I will guarantee you 
will be able to do it in some shape, so go ahead 
and try. 

If you need a tent for your servant, sew three 
pieces of ducking together, fifteen feet long. 
Ilem and work eyelets across the ends. Mark 
out your diagram on the floor as for the large 
tent, only making this one in shape of the letter 
A. Estimating your ridge-pole to be six and a 



34 BODINES. 

half feet high, and the sides of your tent reach- 
ing the ground, you will require two strips for 
each end six and a half feet long, with corners cut 
to fit the gables. These, when sewed in the ends, 
and left open in the middle, at one end of the 
tent, will give you an A tent six by nine feet on 
the ground, and costing less than three dollars 
and fifty cents. 

As it is certain to rain more in the woods than 
when you are at home, you would better prepare 
another " fly," made of striped awning-cloth, of 
about the size of the fly to your tent, and made 
in the same manner. This will serve you as a 
dining-room, when stretched over a ridge-pole, 
supported by two forked poles planted in the 
ground to hold them firmly. These poles should 
be ten feet high, and the eaves of your roof 
should be at least five feet from the ground. 
Your table (made of drift-wood, always to be 
found on a stream, or of branches of trees of 
about an inch in diameter, laid close together, 
and nailed upon suitable cleats, supported by four 
legs driven into the ground) should be placed in 
the centre of this canopy. If you do not take 
camp-stools, make them, by boring four holes in 
pieces of slabs, or blocks of wood that are always 
at hand on all habitable streams of this day, and 
drive legs into them. For this and other camp 
purposes you will need a saw, one and a half 
inch auger, hatchet, a four-pound axe, and a 



THE PREPARATION. 35 

quantity of nails. "With these implements you 
can construct a home and furnish it comfortably, 
and even elegantly, in two or three days, and 
enjoy every moment of the time you are so em- 
ployed. 

^N'ow, who's going ? If you take your wife and 
children, — which w(? recommend, as they can be 
perfectly comfortable in such a tent, and will 
grow strong and happy in the open air, — Ave ad- 
vise you to locate on the bank of some stream, 
in a shady wood, near a farm-house that can 
supply you with bread, butter, milk, and eggs. 

If a party of four gentlemen are going to spend 
four weeks in trout or other iishing, select a dry 
spot under some large trees, near the best fishing- 
pools, and take with you the following necessary 
utensils : 

2 long-handled frying-pans. 

A coffee-pot. 

A tea-pot. 

A long-handled 8-quart boiler (in which to 
boil your potatoes and to heat your dish-water). 

A dish-pan. 

A small tea-kettle. 

A wire broiler. 

6 common knives and forks. 

1 butcher knife. 

1 long-handled iron spoon. 

1 long-handled iron fork. 

1 dozen tin teaspoons. 



36 BODINES. 

J dozen tin table spoons. 

12 tin plates. 

12 tin cups. 

1 2-quart pail (for milk). 

1 4-quart pail (for water). 

2 bars soap. 

4 dish-towels. 

6 toilet-towels. 

Combs and tooth-brushes. 

These are all that are absolutely needed, but 
other useful articles can be added. My own kit 
consists, in addition to what I have here given, 
of— 

Another frying-pan. 

A Dutch oven. 

3 covered, tin, 2-quart pans (for serving stewed 
tomatoes, potatoes, etc.). 

1 dozen small " puif-pans" (used as sauce- 
dishes). 

A jack-lantern. 

A shovel. 

The extra number of plates are necessary to 
place your potatoes, fish, bread, and other articles 
upon at table, while the cups are used for sugar, 
salt, syrup, etc., as well as for drinking your 
coffee and tea. 

Place your tin cups in your coffee-pot and 
tea-pot, and these inside your dish-pan ; putting 
knives, forks, and spoons in the unoccupied 
spaces about them. Your tea-kettle should go 



THE PREPARATION. 37 

inside your four-quart pail, and your dozen plates 
on top. Your own ingenuity will teacli you how 
to pack tlieni all snugly. Make a strong box of 
inch pine boards, four feet long, two feet wide, 
and two feet deep. Bind the ends, all the way 
around, with iron, and strengthen the top in same 
manner. Attach the lid to the box by means of 
long strap-hinges, and two strong hasps in front 
to hold it down. Eight inches from the top, at 
each end, bore two one-inch holes, through which 
put a piece of inch rope, wrapping the ends to- 
gether on the inside, so as to form handles by 
which to lift it. In the bottom of this l)ox, pack 
the following provisions, which will keep four 
hungry persons four weeks, as well as any visi- 
tors that are likely to call upon you to enjoy your 
hospitality : 

12 lbs. wheat flour. 

20 lbs. corn-meal. 

4 quarts beans. 

2 bushels potatoes. 

1 peck Bermuda onions., 

5 lbs. rice. 

10 lbs. dried fruit (peaches are best). 

10 lbs. ground cofiee. 

5 lbs. black tea. 

25 lbs. granulated sugar. 

10 lbs. salt pork (in which to fry fish). 

10 lbs. dried beef. 

16 lbs. butter (in crock). 

4 



b-^ 



38 BODINES 

J lb. black pepper. 

1 lb. red pepper. 

2 lbs. candles. 

5 lbs. soda crackers. 
2 quarts pickles. 
1 sack salt. 

1 package matches (tightly corked in bottle). 
1 box baking powder. 
1 box saleratus. 

To this add a quantity of bread and bis- 
cuit, and rely upon some farm-house for a fresh 

supply. 

Your sugar should be placed in a Avooden 
sugar-bucket with cover, to be found at all gro- 
ceries. Your coffee and tea may go into tin cans, 
as well as your flour and corn-meal. The tin 
cans used for fancy crackers, to be had of your 
grocer, will be very convenient for packing such 
articles, and will fit nicely in your camp-chest. 
After your provisions'are in the box, throw your 
potatoes and onions in among them, to fill up the 
vacant spaces, then pack your cooking utensils, 
with axe, saw, hatchet, auger, and nails, on top, 
together with two bars of iron half an inch thick, 
an inch and a half wide, and as long as th^ box. 
Your box will contain them all and your large 
tent also. 

You can add to this list canned fruits, toma- 
toes, corn, etc., with some jellies and jam, that 
taste very well in the woods. We have only 



THE PREPARATION. 39 

given a list of what seems to be necessary. If 
you smoke, do not forget your pipes and Yanity 
Fair tobacco. Do not take cigars. They soon 
become damp and do not burn well. 

Erect upon one side of your tent two bedsteads, 
constructed in the following manner : Drive six 
green stakes into the ground, forming two rec- 
tangles, end to end, four by six feet. Cut tAvo 
straight saplings twelve feet long, and nail them 
to the three stakes on a side, about eighteen 
inches from the ground. Across these nail 
" slats," formed of round poles, of as near the 
same size as possible, and across the ends other 
poles, to serve as "head-boards." This gives 
you two bedsteads, foot to foot, upon which you 
can place two ticks of suitable size, tilled with 
straw from the nearest farm-house. If you are 
away from civilization, where straw or hay can- 
not be obtained, gather a quantity of hemlock 
or spruce boughs, pile them up a foot or more 
deep, over which spread a blanket or comfort- 
able; or, better still, cut off the larger stems and 
fill the tick with the small, delicate boughs, and 
you will have a bed fit for a king to rest upon. 
In a large trunk or box you can pack six com- 
fortables, four sheets, and four pillows, — all the 
bedclothing required, even should the weather be 
cold. A comfortable placed over a straw" or 
hemlock -bough tick makes a luxurious bed. 
Once in two or three days at least the beds and 



40 BODINES. 

bedding should be spread in the sun, else are 
they apt to grow musty. 

!N"ear your dining-room, pile up a lot of stones 
about a foot high and four feet long. Build a 
wing on each end two feet long, cover the stones 
with sod and earth (here comes in the shovel), 
so that when it is finished vou will have a fire- 
place shaped like this | |. 

]N'ow place your four-feet bars of iron across 
the top of this, upon which to set your frying- 
pans, your coffee- and tea-pots, and your boiler, 
making one of the most convenient arrange- 
ments for out-door cooking that can be devised. 
Under these bars of iron, protected by the banks 
of stone and sods to the rear and on either side, 
hot, glowing coals are always kept, over which 
fish, flapjacks, potatoes, cofiee, and other food 
can be conveniently cooked ; beside, the bars are 
great economizers of wood, enabling you to cook 
without burning your face or scorching your 
utensils and food. 

If your neighboring farm-house has ice, sink a 
flour-barrel in the ground to its top, — boring a 
few holes in the bottom for drainage, — and place 
a large chunk of ice in the bottom, covering the 
top with a board or blanket. It will keep a ^Veek 
in this manner. If a barrel is not to be had, dig 
a hole two or three feet deep and stone it up, 
where you can keep your milk, butter, and fish 
cool and fresh, even without ice. 



THE PREPARATION. 41 

ITear the fireplace should be constructed a sort 
of kitchen-table, with rack for hanging pans, 
pots, and other cooking utensils. This can be 
quickly done by driving four stakes into the 
ground, nailing cleats across them, and covering 
the tops with saplings of equal size. On one 
edge drive nails, to be used as hooks upon which 
to hang the frying-pans, etc. This will be very 
convenient in all your cooking and dishwashing 
work. Take a piece of ticking about four feet 
square and cover its surface with pockets. Hang 
this upon the side of your tent. You will find 
it an excellent place in which to deposit articles 
of various kinds, — pipes, tobacco, letters, maga- 
zines, needles, thread, twine, buttons. 

Suspend a pole lengthwise of your tent by 
means of twine tied around the ridge-pole. Let 
it hang down a foot or two below the top of the 
tent. Over this hang your extra clothing or 
other articles that need to be put out of the way. 

Under one corner of the dining-room canopy 
place your camp-chest, and in the bottom ar- 
range cans of fiour, coffee, tea, sugar, etc. Roll 
the bread up in an old table-cloth that should be 
taken along for the purpose, and lay it also in 
the chest. Construct a shelf near the top of the 
chest, upon which place other articles needed for 
the table. By this arrangement they are kept 
dry. You can never tell when it will rain in the 
woods, and it is better always to be ready for it. 

4X 



42 BODINES. 

Under your table, which stands in the centre 
of the canopy, make a shelf, upon which place 
plates, knives, forks, spoons, pepper, salt, table- 
cloth, and napkins. Below this, on the ground, 
make a bin for potatoes and onions. Everything 
now but pans and kettles (and the wet will not 
injure them) is housed and out of the way. 

Ao'ainst a tree — one as straio'ht as vou can 
find — make a rack in which to stand your rods, 
so that they may not be blown down and broken. 
This saves the necessity, also, of taking them 
apart after each day's fishing. 

Many other little conveniences will suggest 
themselves and keep you employed when feeling 
so inclined. Benches can be made about the 
fireplace, upon which to rest when enjoying the 
camp-fire at night. Ornamental brackets, manu- 
factured out of laurel-roots, Avill serve as adorn- 
ments for the tent-poles. Wild-flower gardens 
can be arranged to beautify the " door-yard." 
In short, there is no end to the things you can 
do for the amusement of yourself and friends. 

You are now ready for housekeeping, when, 
I'm sure, you will be able to entertain and amuse 
yourselves in various ways aside from the de- 
lights of fly-fishing. 

Fortunately, our fancies and inclinations are 
not the same, else would this be a stupid world 
in which to live. While Hamlin, Thad Jr., and 
I did the fishing for camp, Robert, the book- 



THE PREPARATION. 



43 



dealer, and Charles, the ex-banker from Brook- 
lyn, Avorked like Turks in and about the camp, 
constructing comfortable rustic settees, chairs, 
and other articles of furniture. But Avhat we 
all did, and how, and when, and where, must be 
learned from what follows. 




CHAPTEE III. 

PAKAPHERNALIA. 

Kods, Boats, Dress, Fly, Books, and a Baby. 

" It is really funny to read the advice of sun- 
dry scribblers upon the selection of fishing appa- 
ratus and camp equipments, when it is clearly 
evident that it emanates from persons Avho have 
had little or no experience in camp-life, or with 
the articles they recommend," Charles remarked, 
upon throwing down a book in which he had 
been endeavoring to interest himself for an hour 
or more. 

" Why, confound them !" he further added, 
" they are a lot of stupid ninnies who try ito guess 
what is needed for camp-life, and then, forthwith, 
parade their supposed information in print, while 
they exhibit their wares for sale, without having 
the most remote knowledge of what they're writ- 
ing about, or the practicability of the abominable 
contrivances they seek to place upon the market." 
Delivering himself of this righteous opinion, he 
turned out of his hammock, took a large sponge 
from its peg upon a tree, and proceeded to souse 
his face, neck, and head with the cool water of 
the creek. 

44 



PARAPHERNALIA. 45 

" Palmer is right," interposed Hamlin ; " and 
one of the articles that should be interdicted in 
camp is a split bamboo rod. I wouldn't give a 
cent for one for our use. They will do very well 
for a day or two of fishing in fair weather ; but 
just stand them up against a tree, where they 
take the rain, dew, and dampness, for a month, 
and they will be found soon to lose their elasticity 
and springing qualities." 

" Well, they don't stand dampness very well, 
that's a fact, Hamlin," I respond. " Just look at 
mine, for instance." And I held my best bam- 
boo for inspection. 

" Yes, crooked as a ram's horn, and quite as 
useless. I tell you, they are good for nothing 
for a long trip in the woods. They are not reli- 
able.* A pretty fix j'ou would be in, if off in the 
wilderness, somewhere, with a rod that would 
curl up like a watch-spring every time it was 
rained upon !" 

"Well, how do you like that 'whip-rod' of 
mine?" 

" What, the one woven all over, from tip to 
butt, like a whip ?" 

" Yes." 

* Since this was written, I have had an opportunity of test- 
ing a split bamboo that has withstood the camp test. It has 
been resting against a tree for four weeks, — in all sorts of 
weather, and retains its elasticity perfectly. It is the octagon 
fly-rod made by W. L. Hoskins, of Owego, N. Y. 



46 BODINES. 

" Not a whit better than your bamboo. There's 
no use talking ; these fancy rods, gotten up to be 
strikingly new and novel, will not stand actual 
service. Now, your whip-rod, as you call it, was 
elegant when you first brought it down here, but 
the dampness has swollen it, stretching its woven 
jacket, until now that it is dry it fits like a shirt 
on a bean-pole ; rendering it good for nothing, 
like all the rest of them." 

" I think any rod loses its elasticity if not 
properly protected with varnish," I suggested. 

" True enough; but how much varnish does it 
require, pray, for ' proper protection' ? To my 
certain knowledge you placed three good coats 
of copal varnish upon every one of your rods 
before we left home, and it does seem to me that 
would be enough to render any sort of rod im- 
pervious to water — except a split bamboo." 

" I'm afraid you are prejudiced against bamboo 
rods, Hamlin. You must admit they are very 
strong and light ?" 

" When dry, you should have added; but you 
can't always rely upon clear weather when lying 
out in the woods ; therefore, I say, they are un- 
safe." 

^'Toot! toot!" 

'' Halloo ! There comes Chandler, the Phila- 
delphian. That is his signal ; he'll be here in a 
few moments. I guess he's at the big pool around 
the turn, and notifies us of his approach. We'll 



PARAPHERNALIA. 47 

just take his opinion on the rod question ; for 
the sorts and kinds that have not passed through 
his hands are not worth considering." 

"Here he comes now. Halloo, Chandler! 
How are you, old boy V 

"Nimble as a cat-bird; how are all the 
campers ?" 

" Well, and glad to see you. Come ashore, and 
join in in this discussion on the rod question." 

"What is the point of difference?" 

" Why, Hamlin here, who is always suspicious 
of anything new in guns or rods, you know, is 
inclined to place a poor valuation upon the split 
bamboo rod ; thinks it won't stand moisture, and 
is therefore untrustworthy as a rod for daily and 
constant use." 

"Well stated, doctor. I'll stick to that declara- 
tion until I find better bamboos than you have 
yet wielded !" 

" Hamlin, your proposition is not without force. 
I must confess that I never feel perfectly safe to 
be out with a split bamboo and not within reach- 
ing distance of my bundle of iron woods. But 
then, I know good fishermen who could not be 
persuaded to use any other sort. I^ow, here's a 
bamboo that I have fished with all the morning, 
from Ralston to this camp, and I must say that 
a lighter and more elastic rod I never had in 
hand. But I rarely get it wet, and whe.n I do, 
am careful to wipe it dry before laying it away. 



48 BOD I NFS. 

Then I give it two good coats of the best copal 
varnish as soon as the fishing season is over, and 
another one in tlie spring, before I use it. These 
rods need to be protected from moisture. If 
water gets into the glued seams they are ruined." 

" ^N^ot only that," interjects Hamlin, "but if 
you should break a tip, you can't sit down and 
mend it on the stream, as you do your lance- 
wood." 

To this Chandler only partly assented, and 
gave his opinion : 

" The best rod, I think, I ever owned is one 
made by myself, of ironwood, cut right here 
upon this stream. It has a curled maple handle, 
twelve inches long and an inch and a quarter in 
diameter, at the grasp. This grasp is five inches 
long, and behind it, at the end of the handle, 
slopes down to seven-eighths of an inch, to receive 
rings of that size that hold the reel. The pecu- 
liarity of this rod is, that it has a short first joint 
and a very long middle one : tbis arrangement 
brings the elasticity where it belongs, on the 
middle joint. The first joint, from the handle to 
the end of the ferrule, is twenty-one inches : it is 
made of ironwood ; and, where it joins the handle, 
is half an inch in diameter, tapering to twelve 
thirty-seconds of an inch at the opposite end. 
The second joint is forty-six inches long, tapering 
from twelve to eight thirty-seconds of an inch, 
and is also of ironwood. The tip is of split bam- 



PARAPHERNALIA. 40 

boo, forty-seven inches long, tapering from eight 
to two thirty-seconds of an inch. This makes a 
rod of about ten and a half feet in length, weighs 
eight ounces (the maple butt being the heaviest 
part), is delightfully elastic, of an even spring 
from butt to tip, will cast a fly as far as you desire 
it to go, and is capable of landing a four-pound 
trout — when you hook him." 

" That's what might be termed getting a rod 
' down to dots,' " observed Charles, who all this 
while had been an attentive listener, and who at 
once inquired, — 

" What are the dimensions of that rod you 
made, doctor ? I like the hang of that pretty 
well." 

" I use a very limber rod, you know^, Charles; 
one that is called ' logy.' I think you can cast 
a fly with much more ease with a ' slow' or very 
limber rod than you can with a ' quick' one. My 
favorite rod, therefore, is made much like Chand- 
ler's: with the same heavy grasp, short first joint 
twenty-four inches long, half inch in diameter at 
handle, and tapering to ten thirty-seconds. The 
second joint is forty-three inches long, tapering 
from ten to six thirty-seconds of an inch. Both 
these joints are of ironwood, while the tip is of 
lancewood, and is forty inches long, tapering 
from six thirty-seconds of an inch to a point. 
This is a much more limber rod than Chandler's, 
and would not suit many fly-casters; but, as 

c 5 



50 BODINES. 

before remarked, it is adapted to me and my 
style of casting, exactly. I find that almost all 
fishermen have their own ideas as to how a rod 
should hang, and how stifi:' or limber it should be. 
1^0 rule, therefore, can be given by which a rod 
can be constructed to suit all hands. I think, 
however. Chandler's and this rod of mine are 
fair representatives of the two classes of rods 
that might be styled ' quick' and ' slow.' " 

" Do these measurements include the ferrules ? 
and where do you amateur rod-makers procure 
them ?" he again inquired. 

" Yes, the measurements include the ferrules, 
which can be obtained, in sets, of all dealers in 
fishing apparatus. The handles are turned out 
of curled maple at any wood-turning establish- 
ment, while the ironwood joints are worked out 
Avith a plane until the dimensions are nearly 
right; then a rasp and sand-paper are employed 
to comjDlete the work. The ferrules are fitted 
tightly and put on with any good cement. The 
rings or guides for the line are best when sta- 
tionary ; that is, the stays and rings should be in 
one piece, so that the ring always stands out 
from the rod, giving a freer delivery to the line. 
They are easily made, with round-nosed pliers, 
out of German-silver wire." 

^'That's a good arrangement, too," observed, 
Hamlin ; " the line never sticks, necessitating a 
strong jerk to free it, as occurs in the loose ring." 



PARAPHERNALIA. 51 

^' Greeiiheart makes a very good rod. I notice 
manufjieturers are using it now quite extensively. 
They claim that it is more elastic than ironwood, 
hickory, ash, or any of the woods usually em- 
ployed, save perhaps lancewood. The trouble 
with lancewood is, it is so very brittle that it will 
not always stand a sudden or severe strike." 

" I am not so sure of that. Chandler. I prefer 
a lancewood tip to any other, and I very rarely 
break one. When I do, it usually occurs from 
carelessness. It is more apt to be broken by 
thrusting its point against the trunk of a tree as 
you are winding your way through the woods, 
but I cannot recall an instance where one was 
broken while landing a trout." 

" You have been more fortunate than I, then. 
I now use split bamboo tips to all my rods." 

" Chandler and I made ourselves each two rods 
of ironwood this season, Hamlin, without any 
ferrules, and I like tliem very much. You get 
the full spring of the rod by splicing the joints, 
instead of putting ferrules over them ; and then 
they are much lighter, and never stick when you 
want to take them apart. Wait a moment ; I'll 
run up to the tent and bring you one. ^tTow, 
there is a little rod, ten feet and six inches long, 
without a ferrule upon it, and weighs only four 
ounces! The handle and first joint are in one 
piece, of ironwood, just five feet and six inches 
long, while the tip is of lancewood, five feet long. 



52 BODINES. 

It is not an inconvenient length to carry, you 
see, and I wonder that rod-makers do not supply 
them. Where the tip fits to the second joint the 
ends are bevelled accurately, and wound with 
thread. It is done almost as quickly as you can 
put a ferruled rod together, and is always in 
order. I have still another that goes together 
Avith one ferrule, where this one is spliced. It 
works very nicely, hut has not the elasticity of 
the spliced one." 

" I should think it inconvenient to hold the two 
pieces in place while you are wrapping them." 

" Not at all, for, see, I have wrapped a small 
piece of brass at the butt end of each splice, so 
that the sharp points of each end slip under this 
fastening, holding it quite securely, without any 
wrapping. It is a short job to secure it now, 
with a waxed thread, and how beautifully it 
bends ! Try it." 

" That is a little daisy, and springs splendidly. 
I should like to fish with it some day." 

" All right, Ilamlin ; take it along ; you will 
enjoy it, I'm sure." 

At this point Charles approached the group 
from the direction of the tent, holding a copy of 
Forest and Stream in his hand, and glancing over 
the advertisements, delivered himself as follows : 
"I don't know much about your rods, but here 
is a matter that I am interested in, and that is, 
boats. I have examined all manner of folding 



PARAPHERNALIA. 53 

and other portable boats, and I do think they are 
in the main an abomination. Now, look at that 
canvas folding-boat of the doctor's there ! What 
a looking thing it is ! Awkward, bulky, leaky, 
and weighs over eighty-iive pounds. The frame- 
work is heavy, weak, and exceedingly trouble- 
some to adjust, while as to real portability, it has 
no advanta«'e over a full-leno;th canoe. What 
will you take for it, doctor ?" 

"Will sell it cheap, Charles; take it at your 
own price. But I warn you beforehand that 
it is the most useless thing in the shape of a 
boat I ever encountered. I have owned another 
sort beside that one, have examined others, and 
must give it as my unprejudiced opinion that 
all folding and portable boats are complete and 
utter failures, certain to disappoint the expecta- 
tions of the purchaser. After devoting consid- 
erable time and money to the selection of a 
portable boat, I know of nothing that will an- 
swer all the requirements better than a light 
cedar canoe of about thirteen feet in length. 
Such a boat can be carried in the bao'o-aiJ^e-car of 
a train, or any reasonable distance in the woods 
by two persons, and will carry them in return 
when the water affords a passage. A canoe of 
this kind is to be had for about twenty-five dol- 
lars of the various makers, whose advertisements 
can be found in the sportsmen's papers. 

" I have made quite a convenient boat, to carry 



54 BODINES. 

in a wagon, for fishing npon mountain-ponds, 
where there are no boats, or to carry down the 
river several miles when fishing for bass. m\ 

" It is made of galvanized sheet-iron, in two 
pieces, one piece fitting inside the other, occu- 
pying a space when so packed of twenty inches 
by six and one-half feet, and weighing about 
forty-five pounds. You can construct one your- 
self in less than half a day, at a cost of not 
more than seven dollars. Procure two pieces of 
light, galvanized sheet-iron, six and a half feet 
long and three feet w^ide. Cut a V-shaped piece 
out of one end of each of them, so that the apex 
of the triangular piece will be eighteen inches 
from the square end. Give me a sheet of paper 
and pencil ; I Avill mark out a diagram for you. 




" There. Cut in from A and D to B just eigh- 
teen inches ; serve the other piece in the same 
manner. Then place their ends together, as at 
C, and you will know how long the boat will be 
when finished. Take your pieces so cut to a 
tinner, and have him turn over the edges (A to 
E and D to F), so as to receive a N'o. galvan- 
ized iron wire (keeping the two pieces separate). 
This stiffens the edges and makes the boat firm, 



PA RAPHERNALIA. 



55 



so that no ribs are required. ITow fold A on to 
D, and punch holes through the lapped edges, and 
rivet them securely together with iron rivets 
(don't use copper ones : the galvanic action will 
rust the iron), first having smeared the edges 
with thick red lead. Bring the two corners at 
C within twenty inches of each other, and rivet 
an end of the same iron into it, shaping it to a 
half-round, and turning up a flange of an inch all 
around, through which to drive the rivets. Smear 
this with lead as before. One-half your boat is 
now completed. Treat the remaining piece in 
the same manner, only cutting oif an inch from 
the square end, so that one part will be an inch 
shorter than its mate, enabling it to set in it 
" spoon fashion." When completed, place both 
square ends together, and make a pine seat, with 
two prongs screwed to its under surface, so as 




to slide over both ends of the two parts, holding 
them securely together. Your boat is now fin- 
ished, and will look like this ; 



56 BODINES. 

It will be thirteen feet long, will carry two or 
three persons readily, and will float like a duck. 
The points are sharp, and the centre flares to 
twenty inches, giving it great buoyancy." 

" What becomes of it if leaky or in any man- 
ner it is filled with water ?" 

"It will go to the bottom, of course; but there 
is no necessity for filling it with water. It will 
not tip over easily, and is as safe as any canoe, if 
properly handled. I do not recommend it as a 
plaything for children, but it can be made per- 
fectly safe for them even, by putting air-tight 
bulkheads in each end, which would serve also 
for seats, at the same time rendering it impossi- 
ble to sink the craft." 

" How do you propel it ?" 

" With paddle, as you do other canoes. Oar- 
locks can be riveted on the sides and oars used if 
you desire." 

" Where are the materials to be had, and what 
do they cost ?" 

" Of any hardware dealer. The iron, thirty- 
six inches wide, should not cost more than twelve 
cents a pound, and weighs about one pound to 
the square foot. Galvanized iron rivets cost 
about thirty cents a pound, and the large wire 
about three and one-quarter cents a pound. If 
the wire cannot be obtained, galvanized, have it 
tinned. This can be done in a few minutes at 
any tin-shop, and prevents rusting. The boat 



PARAPHERNALIA. 57 

should be painted some shade of green inside 
and out, which will render it less conspicuous 
upon the water. 

" A light frame- work of wood^a sort of trellis 
— can be placed in the bottom of the boat, to step 
upon and protect the iron from injury." 

" While we are on this subject of equipments, 
do tell me how you came to devise that uniform 
of yours, and what are its advantages ?" 

" What, my fishing suit, Charles ?" 

" Yes. You look like an overgrown school- 
boy just let out for recess, in that roundabout." 

"It is a very comfortable rig, nevertheless, 
Charles. This jacket I had constructed out of 
one of my cast-ofi:' Scotch tweed coats. I had 
the tails cut ofi:', and fashioned like a regular 
school-boy's roundabout, as you say. These 
pockets (three rows on each side) are convenient 
for carrying various fishing appliances. This 
little pocket, even with my shoulder, on the left 
side, is where I carry my watch, so that it need 
not get wet in deep wadings. I learned that 
lesson several years ago in wading through the 
deep hole back of Astenville. It was in the even- 
ing; I saw large trout rising in the deep water 
next the mountain. To get at them it was neces- 
sary to wade to my armpits. I was so interested 
in casting for, and occasionally capturing one of 
them, that my watch was entirely forgotten and 
completely swamped. It cost me seven dollars 



58 BODINES. 

for repairs ; and this pocket, high and dry on my 
shoulder, is the result of that experience. This 
large pocket, in the skirt, over the hip, is where 
I carry my gossamer waterproof cape, which I 
use in a rain-storm, to keep my shoulders dry. 
The one on the inside of the left breast contains 
my fly-book, and the one on the opposite breast, 
my tea and sugar pouches. The trousers are 
made to button tight about my ankles, so oflering 
less resistance to the water when wading. But I 
pride myself most upon my shoes. Just look at 
them !" 

" Yes, I see ; much like a gunboat, and as 
heavy in proportion. What under the sun have 
you so many hobnails in them for ?" 

"For two reasons : to prevent slipping upon the 
slimy stones, and to give them weight, so as to 
aiford a firm footing in swift water." 

" But I should think they would tire you in 
carrying them about." 

" Not at all. Their weight is not felt in the 
water, and I even prefer them as a walking shoe 
on land. In having your wading shoes made, be 
sure to get them large enough, with great, broad 
soles, and very low and broad heels. If your 
heels are high, 3^our shoe when wet will surely 
run over. Kever employ shoestrings. Have a 
wide lap coming over the front of your shoe, to 
fasten on the outer side with three buckles. Have 
the shoe run up the ankle at least twelve inches 



PARA PHER NA LI A . 59 

from the bottom of the heeL See that there is 
plenty of room to admit your trousers, so as to 
buckle snugly about your ankles. This makes 
the perfection of a comfortable wading shoe." 

" Why are those nails driven in the heel in the 
shape of the letter U ?" 

" Examine Hamlin's. You will find an II on 
his, and Thad Jr.'s are marked with a T. I will 
tell you why : 

" Once Hamlin and I concluded to fish Pleas- 
ant Stream from its source to its mouth. We 
employed Mr. Stull, a liveryman of Canton, Pa., 
to drive us from that village, over the moun- 
tains, to the head-waters of the stream. A man 
by the name of Chase, who kept a hotel in the 
village, volunteered, with a chum of his, to go 
as guides and shov/ us where cabins could be 
found in which to lie at niHit. 

" After a delightful ride over those picturesque 
mountains, during which many beautiful hills 
and valleys were traversed, we finally struck the 
stream, at its very head, late in the afteriioon. 
Our self-appointed guides, fishing-rods in hand, 
struck boldly out to lead the way. In twenty 
minutes they had disappeared down the stream, 
and we saw nothing more of them until next day, 
about lunching time, when they hove in sight to 
inform us that they had found the cabin, had 
slept in it all night, and were surprised not to 
find us there in the morning. In the mean time. 



• ^. -LijL 1.11^:5 iiii,<iii iiiiic, 



60 BODINES. 

Hamlin and I had lain out in the drizzling rain 
through the entire night, the ' guides' having 
taken no measures to look us up. 

'' We declined any further offers of assistance 
from them, concluding to take care of ourselves 
for the rest of the expedition, as we had been 
forced to do the night previous. We laid out 
upon the banks of the stream another night, and 
expected to make Crawford's (a farm-house, about 
four miles above the mouth) on the third night. 
Two or three miles above Crawford's the stream 
divides. Hamlin took the right-hand branch and 
I the left, expecting to meet at the junction below. 
I reached the spot first, waited a while, but no 
Hamlin came in sight. I shouted; no response. 
I examined the sand about the shore, and found 
fresh tracks made by hobnailed shoes, and water 
dashed over the stones where the fisherman had 
gone ashore. I naturally concluded he was 
ahead, and proceeded to follow down the stream. 
I fished rapidly, and looked anxiously around 
every turn in the creek, but saw no signs of my 
friend. I shouted again, but no response came 
back to me. Evening was coming on, so I quick- 
ened my step, which was soon increased to a 
double-quick. I examined the footprints again 
and again, only to be confirmed in the opinion 
that he could not be far off". So I finally reeled 
up my line and devoted all my energies to over- 
taking him. Tired and foot-sore from my long 



PARAPHERNALIA. Gl 

and rapid tramp, I reached Crawford's at candle- 
light, to find that Hamlin had not been tliero. I 
then ordered supper for two, and retraced my 
steps, three weary miles np-stream, where I found 
him at last, seated by a camp-fire upon the bank, 
a brush in each hand, vigorously fighting mosqui- 
toes, and waiting for me to come down. He had 
concluded I was still up the stream, and that we 
would be forced to remain out another night ; so 
had selected a camping-ground, and was patiently 
awaiting my coming. Upon my assuring him 
the farm-house was not far away, we at once 
^ broke camp,' and started for Crawford's, and 
supper; both of which we reached about ten 
o'clock. 

^ 'After supper, we were put to bed in the loft 
of the old house, where we would have rested 
Avell enough had it not been for a disturbing cir- 
cumstance, which is worth the recordino^ rio-ht 
here. It clearly shows that ' There's a divinity 
that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we 
will.' Hamlin thinks something of the kind 
brought a doctor to that particular house just in 
the nick of time ; for a baby was born that very 
night, in that very house, — a boy baby, too, — with 
a pair of lungs that did him no discredit, but the 
diligent exercise of which frightened my friend 
from his bed to seek safety, through the gable- 
window, on the ground below. When I returned 
from my professional duties, leaving mother and 

G 



G2 BODINES. 

child ' as well as could be expected,* my bed-fel- 
low had iiown. I found hmi soon after, however, 
perched upon a big rock, in the middle of the 
creek, fighting midges Avith tobacco-smoke from 
his blazing pipe, and mosquitoes with willow- 
boughs, which were flying right vigorously in 
each hand. Upon seeing me, his first salutation 
was in the form of a question, which I thought 
had considerable determination in its rendering: 

" ' How far is it to Bodines V 

" ^ Six miles,' I replied. 

" ' Let's go !' 

" ' What ! to-night ?' 

" ' Certainly ; you don't suppose I'm going to 
follow you around practising as a gj-npocologist, 
do you ? Say, what the deuce is the matter with 
that youngster ?' 

"- ' Nothing at all, I can assure you; contrari- 
wise, he is as sound as a nut.' 

" ' Glad to hear it; was afraid he had broken a 
leg or something, he screamed so like fury. But 
come, let us be moving.' 

" ' l!^o, no ; we will go to bed again, and take an 
early start in the morning.' 

" But all my arguments and persuasions were 
in vain. He would not enter the house again. I 
finally carried him a blanket, and left him lying 
under a tree, at a safe distance from the house, 
with a fire near his feet and a smudge at his head, 
and there I found him sound asleep at daybreak. 



PARAPHERNALIA. 63 

" Before we went away, I entered into a con- 
spiracy with the father of that interesting child 
to allow me to name it. The privilege was 
granted. I so informed my friend upon our 
Avay down the stream. 

'' He looked troubled, but ventured to ask, — 

^" What did you call it?' 

''^SamI' 

'' ' Thunderation !' was all I heard, as he plunged 
into the stream and began a vigorous whipping 
of its waters. 

"Before leaving, I inquired who had passed 
down the stream the evening before, and was in- 
formed that ' Shorty' was only five minutes ahead 
of me, making most excellent time in order to 
reach home before night. I had followed the 
tracks of his hobnailed shoes during that entire 
afternoon, which circumstance led to the initial 
letters on those heels of mine. Kow, when I 
see a track, I examine the heel-mark, and, if it 
exhibits an II, I know Hamlin is not far away. 
Since the adoption of this device, we have never 
passed each other upon the stream without know- 
ing it, and I have not taken a wild-goose chase 
upon an unknown track." 

" Does not the letter fade out soon in the sand, 
thus confusing you ?" 

" Not at all. It remains fresh and distinct for 
three or four hours, a much longer time than it 
is needed. I have seen the imprint upon dry 



G4 BODINES. 

stones, from the wet heads of the nails, an hour 
after the wearer had passed." 

" Well, that does seem like a good arrange- 
ment." 

^' Indeed it is. Every man is labelled in this 
camp, so that we can trace him out in a short 
time if he does not put in an appearance at the 
proper moment." 

" Anything else new about here ? Because if 
there is, I Avant to make a note of it," remarks 
the Brooklynite. 

'' Yes ; several things. Let me call your at- 
tention to the fly-hook which originated in this 
camp, and, like most really useful inventions, 
grew out of a necessity. My first fly-hook was 
one of those expensive Russia leather concerns, 
vnth parchment leaves. It always was an incon- 
venient and hull^ monstrosity, until I waded too 
deep in the stream one day, getting it completely 
soaked, when it became hideous in form and 
proportions. George hung it on the line to dry, 
and when that desiccating process was complete 
you couldn't close the contrivance with the blow 
of an axe. The leaves were as wrinkled as a 
cow's horn and immensely more crooked ; they 
stuck out in every conceivable direction, de- 
scribing all possible geometrical angles and 
fio:ures that Avere neither orraceful nor becomino* 
in a well-arranged fly-book. We subjected it 
to a pneumatic ]3ressure of twelve thousand 



PARAPHERNALIA. 65 

pounds to the square incli in one of Chandler's 
book-presses without in the least disturbing its 
bristling propensities. So we gave it to Jim 
Crow to play with, who knocked one of his eyes 
out upon its sharp corners, and then abandoned 
his project of demolishing it; in fact, it w^as the 
only article I ever saw Jim tackle that he could 
not tear to pieces at one sitting. I then devised 
this fly-book, which has not only proved to be 
a convenience and pleasure to me, but likewise 
to my numerous fishing friends, until now^, scarcely 
a fisherman can be found on these streams that 
does not possess one. It is, as you see, made 
of an ordinary old-fashioned sheepskin ' pocket- 
book,' such as you can buy at the book-stores. 
It occupies a space eight by three and one-half 
inches, when closed, having a pocket in each end, 
and a sort of flap arrangement on each side when 
open, to carry bank-bills. These flaps I have 
cut in two and sewed up the sides, forming little 
pockets, in which I carry my leaders, gut, w^axed 
thread, and so on. Directly in the centre of the 
book I have stitched sixteen leaves of delaine, 
first having ' pinked' their edges to prevent fray- 
ing. In the centre of the leaves are passed small 
open rings, so that one-half of the ring is upon 
one side of the page and the other half upon the 
opposite one. I now hook my flies through the 
delaine, at top or bottom of the page, and put the 
looped ends through the ring, which holds them 

6- 



66 BODINES. 

nicely in place. The superiority of tliis fly-book 
over all others consists in its cheapness, com- 
pactness, and flexibility, as well as the protection 
afforded to your flies in the softness of the fabric 
upon which they rest, the absorption of moisture 
from the hook, and the ease with which they can 
be removed and replaced. A very handsome 
book of this character can be purchased for one 
dollar. A yard of delaine, costing thirty-five cents," 
will make the leaves, while your saddler will pink 
them for you for five cents, when you will be in 
possession of a fly-book infinitely superior to 
any of the ten- or twelve-dollar ones that are sold 
in the fishing-tackle shops. 

" If the delaine is purchased in difierent colors 
— white, blue, scarlet, orange, etc. — the beauty of 
the book is increased and your aesthetic nature 
satisfied. About each end, have a broad, elastic 
band fastened to the book, which Avill hold it 
snugly in place, and is more convenient than tie- 
string or buckle." 

" Well, trot out the rest of your inventions : 
let us have them all while you're at it ; for fifteen 
years' experience as a fly-fisherman and ten as a 
camper-out must have taught you many useful 
lessons that we of less experience can avail our- 
selves of." 

" At some other time, Charles, I will take 
pleasure in showing you my creel with lunch- 
box attachment, my travelling-tea-pot, and tea 



PA RA PHERNA LI A. 67 

and sugar bag, which invariably accompany 
me upon an all-day fishing-excursion. But just 
now the shadows are beginning to fall upon the 
pools, the flies are bobbing over the surface of 
the w^ater, and a fine rise out yonder notifies me 
that we had better be up and doing if we desire 
to avail ourselves of the evening fishing. There ! 
Thad Jr. has already captured one in the back 
bayou: I hear his shout. Let us be going. 
Come, Hamlin, suppose w^e go to the slope wall 
this evening, and see if you can raise your 
^buster' under the beech. Supper at eight to- 
night, George ; we will cast as long as we can 
see." 

"Ay, ay, sir!" 



CHAPTER IV. 

ON THE STREAM. 
The Sport of Fly-Casting— How Trout are Caught. 

Members of the various professions, shop- 
keepers, and others whose occupations confine 
them within-doors from year to year, suffer after 
awhile from nervous prostration, induced by in- 
activity of the digestive apparatus, which soon 
originates the many ills for which the medical 
man is constantly asked to prescribe. To persist 
in these sedentary pursuits, with the sole intent 
of adding money to the purse or increased knowl- 
edge to one's profession, is frightfully injurious 
to the health and intellect. In what manner 
these harmful consequences are developed, I can- 
not stop to discuss, since the fact is sufiiciently 
apparent to every individual whose labors confine 
him to office or store, year after year, without a 
season for rest and recuperation. 

Those who have tried the various fashionable 
resorts as resting-places, and have returned to 
their homes almost as much exhausted as when 
they started away, skeptically inquire, — 

" What shall we do ?" 

The same prescription made by the angler's 

08 



ON THE STREAM. 69 

patron saint, good old Isaak Walton, centuries 
ago, coupled with all its delightful pleasures, re- 
tains its efficiency even to the present time, and 
fits our case exactly, — 

" Go a fysshynge !" 

To the inexperienced angler, having in mind 
the reed pole, coarse line, bob and sinker, with 
which he jerked high into the air, from some 
neighboring pond or bayou, the unsuspecting 
bullhead, the demure and rooting sucker, or the 
less pretentious " shiner," using for the allure- 
ment of these humble representatives of the 
finny tribe the angle-worm, fresh and squirming, 
perhaps such advice will come unappreciated and 
vv^ill be unheeded. To such I say, have patience 
to follow me a day fishing, that you may learn 
whether the sport reveals its attractions to you as 
it does to me. 

Fish, you must know, particularly when those 
fish are trout, will not always rise to a fly, nor dive 
for your Avri thing worm. They are moody, are 
these spotted denizens of the mountain streams, 
and doubtless have their moments of hunger 
and times of satiety as well as the folks on 
shore. Do not imagine you will catch a trout at 
every flirt of your flies, or that they will fairly 
dislocate their cervical vertebrae in their anxiety 
to fasten themselves upon your deceptive hook ; 
for I assure you they won't do anything of the 
sort. 



YO BODINES. 

I have seen a pool alive with jumping trout, 
feeding upon a yellow fly, in the edge of the even- 
ing, when the most delicate and skilful casts I 
could make (notwithstanding my artificial device 
closely resemhled the natural one) w^ould not en- 
tice a single one of the cunning little scamps to 
fasten himself upon my hook. I have bobhed 
my most captivating fly before the very nose of 
some sly old trout peeping out from under log or 
rock, and have watched him wink his eye in scorn 
and derision at my little game, but never once 
otter to leave his hiding-place, while he eternally 
wiggled his restless tail and flapped his pectoral 
fins, in intimation that he would say, if he only 
could, " E'o you don't, old fellow !" Again, I 
have caught that same wary trout in an open 
pool on a nondescript fly, as it fell with a noisy 
sphish from an unskilful cast. 

" You can't most allers tell wen they're a-goin' 
to bite," said a native fisherman to me on the 
stream one day. 

It requires patience, perseverance, and an un- 
rufiled temper to make a successful trout-fisher- 
man. If you possess these qualities, accompany 
me to our camp-grounds, where you will receive 
a hearty welcome from the jolly campers there 
congregated. If you have the " blues," just 
come out among the greens and get rid of all 
your mental disquietadcs. Nothing like nature 
to quiet a fellow's nerves, set his stomach to 



ON THE STREAM. Yl 

acting, and so place him fairly upon his legs 
again. 

" What do we do to busy ourselves in camp ?" 
do you ask ? 

Hail Columbia ! what do we 7ioi do ? Why, 
we get up at -^ve in the morning : awakened from 
our refreshing slumber by the soft gray twilight 
falling upon our tent-walls, throwing a gentle 
lialo round about us, and faintly illuminating all 
within. Then the wood-robin, the earliest of the 
morning songsters, begins his melodies, defying 
all our efforts at imitating his sweet, flute-like 
notes. The robin red-breast soon sets up his carol , 
and is at once joined by the many warblers with 
which the woods are swarming ; and such a med- 
ley of songs as is kept up for the next two hours 
is alone worth a journey to the woods to hear. 
During the bird concert we arise and bathe our 
faces in the cool, running water with which our 
island is surrounded, don our fishing suits, pre- 
pare our rods and lines, and adorn our leaders 
with the flies to be used in the day's sport. This 
completed, George, our cook, plays a tattoo upon 
a frying-pan, indicating that its contents have 
been placed upon the table, and our breakfast of 
trout, boiled potatoes, flap-jacks, and coffee is in 
waiting. While we eat, the sun comes peeping 
through a notch in the high mountain, lighting 
up the sky with its golden beams, casting brilliant 
colors upon the charming landscape. How many 



V2 BODINES. 

tints of green we sec in the foliage about us I 
How exquisitely delicate are the bright new tips 
of the hemlock boughs, and how they do be- 
spangle the mountain-side ! 

Above our heads are the broad, green leaves 
of the water-beech, upon the under surface of 
which dance and twinkle silver and o;olden beams 
of light, reflected from the rippling water at our 
feet. Soon, the sun mounts higher in the sky, 
throwing his rays into the dense forest of the 
mountain, lighting up the flrs, beeches, maples, 
and tulip-trees, revealing the mass of beauty 
lying at their feet, in the shape of ferns, mosses, 
and brilliant wild-flowers that raise their saucy 
little heads to salute the morning sun, even as do 
we ! While wx feast upon the viands before us 
and regale our eyes with the beauties of nature, 
now and then a nimble trout leaps from the 
water that goes rippling along upon either side, 
until it splashes and glistens against the lichen- 
covered rocks in the deep pool below. How his 
silver sides sparkle in the sunlight ! and how 
eager we become to test our skill in bringing 
him to creel, as he again and again essays the 
same movement, in his eflbrts at catching a 
dragon-fly that goes bobbing along over the 
surface of the dancing rapid ! Squirrels climb 
timidly out upon the slender branches of the 
maples overhanging the bayou in quest of the 
ripe seeds hanging there, and wink at us with 



ON THE STREAM. 73 

large, inquisitive eyes, while flirting their grace- 
ful tails ahove their backs. Chipmunks go scam- 
pering about the camp, fearlessly gathering the 
crumbs thrown them, while Squire Bodine's 
ducks dive to the bottom of the deep pool for the 
potato-peelings that have found lodgment there. 
Kingfishers chatter from the limbs of a dead stub 
across the creek, and young crows caw, gurgle, 
and splutter somewhere in the depths of the 
forest. Glorious, is it not, to sit at breakfast with 
such surroundings ? 

The meal despatched, we smoke our pipes and 
lay out the trip for the day. The fishing-ground 
is cliosen, when away we go, in our comical-look- 
ing suits, with rods, creels, and landing-nets be- 
decking us, increasing the oddity of our attire. 
As we stroll leisurely up the stream, stopping 
here and there to admire a flower or listen to 
the note of some strange bird, all the old songs 
of our school-boy days are rehearsed, making the 
welkin ring with our joyous shouts. (Hamlin has 
alwa3^s insisted that this is not a correct analysis 
of his feelings : that he shouts and sings to let off 
superfluous steam ; we accept his amendment and 
pass on.) 

But see, there's a rise ! Yes, another still ! 
Yonder, under the limb that trails upon the 
surface of the water. See him ! He jumps 
again ! 

" Go for him, Hamlin ; you will be sure to take 



"74 BODINES. 

him. He seems just in the humor for that leading 
fly of yours." 

Our skilful friend descends the bank, steps 
carefully into the water, that no ripple may reach 
the trout and give him Avarning of his danger. 
Slowly he unreels his line, sweeps it back and 
forth through the air, until the required length is 
obtained, then lands the gossamer leader, with 
its tiny flies, du^ectly over the spot where the 
trout was seen to rise to the natural fly. Gently, 
deftly, are the deceptive feathers manipulated 
over the old trout's lair, until the perpendicular 
rod necessitates another cast. Again is the line 
in the air, describing a graceful double curve, far 
in the rear of the anxious fisherman, Avho, with 
every nerve alert, every muscle quivering with 
anticipation for the next throw, projects the lead- 
ing fly safely under the low-hanging bush. A 
splash, the dull thud that answers to his strike, 
and the merry rattle of the reel, at once reveals 
that the game is hooked. And now what a fight 
ensues ! how the delicate, six-ounce rod bends 
as the frightened fish endeavors to reach the 
cover of a pile of drift-wood near at hand ! Fail- 
ing in this, he tries the swift water beyond, and 
unreels a rod or two of line while dashing madly 
down the rapid. Oh, how he does pull ! and with 
what anxiety the fisherman watches the result ! 
every nerve in his body quivering, lest the deli- 
cate leader may part or the hold upon the mouth 



ON THE STREAM. . 75 

give way. !Now he dives to the bottom of a deep 
pool, and stubbornly sliakes his head while try- 
ing to entangle the line under a stone, or to fray 
it off upon the sharp edge of a sunken rock. 
Then we observe, from the sudden, spasmodic 
jerks upon the rod, that he is endeavoring to tear 
himself away, when Hamlin anxiously shouts, 
with head turned imploringly toward us, while 
great drops of perspiration chase each other over 
his flushed cheeks, — 

" Come, stir him up for me, doctor; he's sulk- 
ing." 

I hasten to the spot, casting a handful of peb- 
bles into the pool ; when away he goes again, 
making the reel run in his mad flight, carrying 
with him nearly every inch of line before reach- 
ing the lower end of the pool, where he tries to 
dart under a huge boulder, seeing which, Hamlin 
turns the butt of the rod toward the fish and 
stops the reel. My eye rests upon the rod as it 
bends from tip to butt, wondering the while 
whether it will or can stand the strain ; but just 
then the fish leaps into the air in response to the 
bend of the elastic rod, or perhaps to show us 
what a beauty he is 

" He'll weigh a pound at least, Hamlin; hold 
him steady." 

" I'll hold him if the tackle will," is the re- 
sponse ; and again the trout leaves the water and 
shakes his head desperately to free himself from 



"76 . BODINES. 

the liook. Darting back and forth across the 
stream, striving here to dive under a root, there 
to circumnavigate a rock, he cuts the water with 
the taut line, lashing it into a spray that reflects 
the prismatic colors of the bright morning sun. 
But now his dashes become less frequent, his 
struggles not so desperate, then the magnificent 
fish is slowly reeled toward the fisherman, the 
graceful, yielding rod displaying a perfect arch 
under the weight of the nimble beauty, until he 
abandons the fight altogether, and displays him- 
self calmly, upon his side, on the surface of the 
water. I place ray landing-net under him, and 
carry ashore the trophy to his delighted captor. 
There, lying within the folds of the net, upon 
the clean, green grass, his beauty of form and 
color is commented upon, and size and weight 
estimated. 

" A pounder, as sure as fate, Hamlin !" 
" Yes, he's certainly fourteen inches long, and 
quite fiit. How the fellow did pull, though ! I 
thought I had at least a two-pounder when I first 
struck him," he replies, stooping to unfasten the 
hook before consigning him to a tuft of grass iu 
the bottom of his creel. 

Perhaps a dozen more are taken in the same 
manner, first by one, then by the other, at various 
points along the stream, when, concluding our 
morning's catch sufiicient to satisfy our craving 
for food and sport, we seat ourselves upon the 




THE SLOPE WALL. 



" I place mv landing-net under him and carry ashore the trophy." 

' [Page7G.] 



ON THE STREAM. '77 

bank, in the cool shade of a friendly tree, and 
watch the kingfishers in their piscatorial exploits, 
agreeing that their pleasure is not unlike our own, 
after all. We note, too, when our feathered rivals 
in the fishing business dive from their high 
perches into the water after the small fry, they 
invariably come to the surface with the game in 
their mouths; our only wonder being how the 
deuce they chatter in that comical manner with 
a mouth full of fish ! 

On our way to camp we stop to gather laurels, 
rhododendrons, violets, daisies, forget-me-nots, 
and a hundred other beautiful flowers with which 
the banks of the stream abound. We examine 
the birds'-nests that are ingeniously secreted in 
tufts of grass and among the low bushes ; watch 
the birds feeding their young, and notice the 
queer habits of the various species while they 
frolic in their native wdlds. On the high bank, 
we lie down and peer into the water, through an 
opera-glass, observing the curious forms of insect 
life that swarm upon the pebbl}^ bottom of the 
creek. There, we see strange little worm-like crea- 
tures, crawling about with bundles of sticks upon 
their backs, or with a coat of mail, constructed 
of minute pebbles, glued together in some mys- 
terious manner. This becomes their armor, we 
find, to protect them from the fish, particularly 
the lazy, long-nosed suckers, that are constantly 
turning them over in order to get a nip at them. 

7* 



YS BODINES. 

Some, bursting their clirysalid shells, float to the 
surface of the water, rest a moment, pluming 
their delicate wings, and then take their flight to 
join the myriads of similar insects flying through 
the air. To sit down, or, better still, to lie down, 
and watch these wiggling little creatures trans- 
forming themselves into graceful and brilliant 
flying insects, often rivalling the flowers in gaudy 
colors, is a diversion of no mean description. 
Many an hour have I amused myself contemplat- 
ing the habits of the multitudes of beetles, moths, 
and aptera that can be found everywdiere in the 
open air. ^ot a stone, blade of grass, leaf, or 
flow^er but has somewdiere upon its surface a liv- 
ing creature, wdiose movements are full of interest 
and instruction. 

While thus employed, we hear the sound of 
George's tin horn echoing from hill to hill, a 
signal that dinner is ready and awaiting our 
presence. Hastening to camp, we find a panful 
of trout, done beautifully brown, steaming hot 
potatoes, with their jackets on, coflee, the aroma 
of which greeted our olfactories long before our 
eyes rested upon it, and some bread and butter 
such as only a farmer's wife can supply, — these 
all ready, with George standing by, in neat 
white jacket and clean apron, eager to supply 
our wants. Dear reader, how such a dinner is 
enjoyed ! I can give you no conception of the 
wholesome appetite that is engendered by living 



ON THE STREAM. 79 

thus in the open air ; I can only urge you to try 
it, and experience the great delights in store for 
you. 

After dinner, we lie oiF in our hammocks, read 
the daily papers that come to us hy the morning 
train, smoke our pipes, and entertain any callers 
that may chance to seek us out. At other times 
we beautify our camp-grounds in various ways 
until five o'clock arrives, when we again enter 
the stream and cast the fly for the larger trout 
that are hidden in the deeper pools. It is then 
we take to our boat: one of us seated in the 
stern, paddle in hand, the other in the bow, with 
rod and line, ready to cast for the first " buster" 
that indicates his whereabouts by an accommo- 
dating splash. In the quiet pond, each rock, 
tree, and shrub finds its counterpart, and the 
blue sky, with its fleecy, flying clouds, occupies 
the centre of the picture. So perfect is the re- 
flection that it is no easy matter to determine 
where the real object and its reflection join. 
Floating listlessly along in the cool shade of the 
great mountain, how peacefully quiet is all iia- 
ture about us ! not a breath of air ruffles the fair 
pool or disturbs a leaf upon the hillside. Even 
the birds are quiet, for they, too, are taking their 
evening siesta. Silently the shadows are creep- 
ing up the sides of the western mountain, the 
sombre hues below intensifying the brilliancy of 
the grand old hemlocks lighted up with the 



80 BODINES. 

golden rays of the setting sun. Soon they, too, 
fall into shadow, and then we bestir ourselves to 
throw for the large trout, now upon the lookout 
for the multitude of flies and moths that disport 
themselves upon the surface of the water as the 
evening shadows entice them out. 

We have not long to wait, for just under a 
shelving rock a " bright fox" has fallen into the 
water and is flapping his gauzy wings right vig- 
orously to regain the airy regions. Immediately 
we see a boiling in the smooth water, which 
sends, out circle after circle of gentle wavelets 
until broken against the sides of our canoe. I 
turn the bow, and, with a light sweep of the pad- 
dle, place my companion within reaching distance 
of the spot. One throw" of his graceful line, and, 
before the deceptive fly fairly lights upon the 
water, the old trout has left his retreat and 
bounded into the air, grasping the morsel within 
his jaws. A play of a few minutes, in which he 
makes a noble fight for liberty, brings him within 
reach of the landing-net, when he is consigned 
to the bottom of the boat to await companions 
soon to follow. And a glorious evening we have 
of it. 1^0 more quiet now: the old hills are 
made to ring with shouts and songs at the cap- 
ture of every beauty that comes to our flies. 
The moment a large fish is struck, Hamlin's 
favorite song is heard ringing clearly out upon 
the evening air ; 



«l 



ON THE STREAM. 81 

" A gay old trout from his hole camo out 
To see what he could see ; 
A boy found it out, then snaked him out, 
And brought him, a trophy, to me," 

sung with a vehemence and gusto proportionate 
to the size of the fish captured. When he is 
alone in the hoat, I can always determine accu- 
rately the number of trout taken by the numerals 
used in another of his ditties, which runs some- 
thing like this : 

" Oh, lovely is one trout !"' 

with the emphasis upon the " one/' But what 
the other lines are I have never been able to 
ascertain, the only variation being in the " one," 
which he changes to " two" or " ten," according 
to his success. So, quickly passes the evening, 
until the shadows grow darker and darker, 
merging into complete blackness and night. 
Then we paddle home, to the music of the whip- 
poor-will, the singing of the tree-frog, and the 
occasional tappings of George's tin pan that 
summons us to supper. A jack-lamp illumi- 
nates our dining-hall, where we soon turn our at- 
tention to the corn pan-cakes, with maple-syrup, 
potatoes stewed in milk, and a good cup of tea. 
These despatched, w^e seat ourselves about the 
camp-fire, smoke our pipes, talk over the inci- 
dents of the day, and listen to the unfailing sere- 
nade of the whip-poor-will. Presently the moon 



82 BODINES. 

appears in the heavens, lighting up woods and 
water with a radiance most enchanting. Hills 
and dales that are full of beauty by day have 
many added charms when bathed in the soft, 
silvery light of a full moon. As we sit and gaze 
upon her face, reflected from the mirrored sur- 
face of the pond, the night-hawks skip merrily 
along, feeding upon the insects that had enter- 
tained us during the day. At last the plaintive 
note of the whip-poor-will is hushed, the shrill 
screech of the night-hawk sinks into silence, 
and all nature settles down into that peaceful 
stillness only experienced in the wild - wood. 
Then we seek our comfortable beds, where we 
rest and chat until soothed into drowsiness by 
the ripple of the running water, the melancholy 
hoot of the owl, and gentle whispers of the wind 
through the pine-tree boughs. The responses to 
our questions grow fainter, less full, and finally 
fail altogether, when a snore in the direction of 
my companion's bed announces that he has al- 
ready said "• Good-night!" 




CHAPTEE V. 

SHORTY. 
A Native Fisherman who takes 'em on a Fly. 

Every neighborhood possesses its ''character," 
— a chap who from some peculiarity, some odd- 
ity in dress, manner, habits, or style of speech, 
renders himself conspicuous among his fellow- 
men, so that he stands out in bold relief, a tar- 
i^et for the ridicule of all with whom he comes 
in contact. 

Such a man is Shorty, — additionally styled the 
" Shark of the Stream." So ostensible are Shorty's 
traits of character, that he is perhaps as well 
known, by name at least, as any denizen of the 
Lycoming valley. Where he originally came 
from the Lord only knows, for his own version 
of his life is so conflicting and crammed so full 
of startling incidents and blood-curdling situa- 
tions, as to more than occupy the full measure of 
time allotted to any half-dozen of the long-lived 
backwoodsmen of this epoch. Had he never 
existed at all, much less in the lively manner we 
are forced to acknowledge he does disport him- 
self, the streams of the Lycoming region would 
be far more populous with trout, and afford a 

83 



84 BODINES. 

correspondingly increased amount of pleasure to 
the true sportsmen Avho, seek these waters for 
recreation. 

We had heard of Shorty and his depredations 
upon Pleasant Stream, with nets, set poles, out- 
lines, and other ahominable contrivances for 
slauo:hterino; the fish of this most deli2:htful of 
all trout streams ; but it was years before we 
encountered him face to face in our excursions 
thither. 

One day in early June, Hamlin and I were 
casting the fly upon its banks, being bountifully 
rewarded, not only in the large number of trout 
taken, and in their gamy quality, but also by our 
picturesque surroundings. The stream is broad, 
clear of brush, and comes tumbling down be- 
tween two lofty mountains, whose moss- and 
fern-covered rocks, and immense hemlock, pine, 
and beech trees, are a sight to behold, while its 
cool, crystal waters sparkle and ripple over many 
little cascades in a manner that would at once 
delight the eye of any lover of nature and make 
him bless the day that brought him to the spot. 
Hamlin and I were casting our flies over the 
same pool, and my rod being rewarded with a 
tine, large fish, we were both devoting our ener- 
gies to land him. My companion was in the 
pool, waist-deep, seeking to thrust the landing- 
net under the fish that was calmly floating on the 
snrfiice of the water, an indication that he had 



SHORTY. 85 

abandoned the struggle and was ready to be lifted 
into the creel. But, just as the net touched his 
silver sides, a spark of electric energy seemed to 
be imparted to him, when away he dived again, 
this time making toward Hamlin's legs for a har- 
bor of safety, causing that individual to make 
sundry comical plunges to escape from the en- 
tanglement. The fish was soon reeled in again 
and quieted down, the net once more placed 
under him, only to stir him up to renewed exer- 
tions of sprightliness. This time he got the best 
of Hamlin, tangling him up in net, leader, and 
trout in such an indescribable manner as to tax 
our ingenuity to the utmost to unravel him. 

The trout was darting hither and thither, be- 
tween Hamlin's legs, then my own, while both of 
us were divins: for him with our landins'-nets 
in the most frantic manner, when with one last, 
desperate effort, in which he seemed to bring the 
force of all his previous jumps into one, he made 
a leap clear over my net, and landed safe and 
free in the pool beyond. Hamlin looked at me, 
I looked at him ; and before either of us could 
make an exclamation, the bushes suddenly parted 
on the bank, and a voice, followed by a man, 
greeted us, saying, — 

" I knowed you'd lose 'im. I caught one 
bigger'n him, over on Pine Creek, once, and he 
mixed three on us up just as this 'un did you 
fellers, and jumped clean over my head and 



86 BODINES. 

knocked my boy down. That 'un there" (point- 
ing to his young hopeful of about thirteen years 
of age, who sat shivering and grinning from the 
bank on the other side). 

As the fish had departed, we turned our atten- 
tion to the new-comer, who presented himself so 
mysteriously and unannounced in our presence. 
He was a man of about fifty years of age, short 
of stature, with a small, round head, densely 
covered with long, shaggy, unkempt hair, — an 
equal mixture of auburn and gray, — while whis- 
kers of the same bountiful supply and of like hue, 
almost concealed a pale and plump face. His 
eyes were blue and bright, mouth hirge, and well 
filled with tobacco-stained teeth that were ex- 
posed by the broad grin wrinkling his cheeks. 
He wore a black coat, threadbare, and abun- 
dantly patched, while his trousers (what was left 
of them) exposed a once white shirt, from front 
and rear, and a w^ell-bronzed skin at the knees. 
This uniform was topped out with a black slouch 
hat, profusely ornamented with artificial flies, 
*which seemed to have been collected from the 
back leaves of the fly-books of all the fishermen 
who had visited this stream . for the past two 
years. On his shoulder rested a pole that evi- 
dently had been cut in the woods, while in his 
hand was an old, six-quart tin pail, covered with 
a dirty rag, a hole cut in the centre, through 
which to thrust his trout, when captured in the 




SH(M!TV AM) liov 



[I'ilge N<i.J 



SHORTY. 87 

mysterious manner known only to himself and 
the boy on the other bank; and this was " Shorty." 
We knew him from the description given of 
him, from his introductory story, from his tin 
pail, and boy with the plethoric black bag, which 
he said contained lunch, but which we suspected 
was the receptacle for his most taking fly, — a 
net. 

The wind was blowing from the north some- 
what cold, and, it being about time to take our 
nooning, we concluded to build a fire, cook our 
trout, and in the interval interview Shorty. He 
watched our preparations, divined what we were 
about, and, catching up his pail in one hand and 
pole in the other, exclaimed, — 

" Oh, if you'r'n want of a fire, one that '11 cook 
yer fish and toast yer shins too, jest cum this way, 
and I'll show ye un. Ye see, I allers starts my 
fires jest off' ov the stream a ways, so I won't be 
bothered with nobody that happens along." 

Following him through the dense underbrush 
for a few rods, we came to a bright, glowing fire, 
built under an old hemlock stump, that was 
fanned into a glowing coal in the brisk wind that 
was just then blowing. "While preparing our 
fish for the roast, Shorty watched the proceedings, 
and, with mouth watering at the prospect of so 
luscious a meal as seemed to be in prospect, ob- 
served, — 

" I reckon them trout '11 be mighty good 



88 BODINES. 

cooked that there way. I never seen it done so 
afore. That buttered paper is to keep 'em from 
burnin', I s'pose. JS^ovv I calkeHate that's a heap 
sight better way than to cook 'em on a stick, and 
burnin' ov 'em." 

" Yes ; trout are very delicious when prepared 
in this manner, Shorty. Do you fish upon this 
stream much ?" 

" Do I ? Why, Lor' bless yer soul, I've fished 
this yer stream from top to bottom for nigh onto 
twenty years now, and 1 knows every rock on its 
bottom, and every stump and root on its shore." 

"You catch many fine fish, no doubt; take 
them all on a fly, 1 suppose ?" 

" Indeed I does. Nobody on this 'ere stream 
has no bisness with me a-fishin' with flies. 
Why, ye only jest oughter a-bin up here this 
mornin', afore the wind got to blowin' ; why, I 
ketched — well, ye kin see" — (uncovering the 
six-quart pail for our inspection, revealing it 
more than two-thirds full of trout, from one inch 
to twelve in length) — " I ketched every blessed 
one on 'em in less'n a hour. I never seed 'em 
jump so; why, I took 'em four and five at a 
time." 

" Four and five at a time !" exclaimed Hamlin, 
who had just lighted his pipe, and was holding 
a burning ember aloft, to catch the direction of 
the wind. " Why, man, how many flies do you 
usually attach to a leader ?" 



SHORTY. 89 

" Oh, sometimes ten and sometimes twelve, ac- 
corclin' as to how they're a bitin'." 

" Ten and twelve flies at a cast ! Hail Colum- 
bia ! Why, you must throw a whole out-line," 
observes Hamlin, with a sly wink and a char- 
acteristic spit over his left shoulder. 

" How many fish can you take here in a day ?" 
I inquired, while carefully covering the roll of 
prepared trout with the burning embers. 

" Well, the biggest hull I ever made was three 
years ago, out o' that ere hole ye see yonder. I 
jist looked into it off ov that rock that hangs over 
it, and counted one hundred and twenty-two bust- 
ers, every one on 'em weighing mor'n a pound. 
I^ow, thinks I, them there trout are mine, every 
one on 'em; so what does I do but jest throws 
the hole full of brush, so as no other feller could 
see 'em or ketch 'em out, and then went to feedin' 
ov 'em." 

" Feeding them ? What for, pray ?" 

" Why, ye see, I wanted to git 'em all ; so I 
feeds 'em to make 'em kinder wanted to the place, 
ye see. Well, I fed 'em every night and mornin' 
fur " 

''What on?" 

'' On — on — let's see ; what did I give 'em ?" 
(scratching his head and looking into the fire, as 
though in search of something to feed those trout 
upon.) " Oh, I fed 'em on chicken innards, and 
mighty fond of 'em they wus, too. Ye would o' 

8* 



90 BODINES. 

laiigliecl yersels nigh unto death to see one big 
feller tackle one ov them long innards and start 
to runnin', with about fifty more a-pullin' at the 
t'other eend of it to get it away from him, jist like 
I hev seed a parcel ov pigs a-doin' manys the 
time." 

"But it seems to me you must have slaugh- 
tered a good many chickens to have fed your 
trout twice a day in that manner." 

" Yes, I did ; but ye see we live purty much on 
chickens in the summer, does the old 'oman and 
me and the six childrens, and then we raised 'em 
on purpose." 

" Oh, I see." 

" "Well, as I was a-sayin', I fed 'em twice a day, 
and arter they got so they knowed me, I would 
feed 'em up stream a little higher, every day, 
until I led 'em 'round into that little run ye see 
a-comin' in jest 'round yender pint. I built a 
brush dam acrost the mouth ov it, and put in a 
board to shet the water off wen I wanted to. 
After I got 'em in there, don't yer see ? I had 'em 
tight. I jest shet down that board, and picked 
out every blessed one on 'em with my l)are 
hands !" 

" But I cannot see any fun in that sort of fish- 
ing. Shorty. Why did you not catch them on a 
fly, and so enjoy it?" 

" That's all werry well for you fellers what's 
got lots o' money and nuthin' to do to talk about. 



SHORTY. 91 

But when a poor feller like me, Avitli a big family 
a-dependin' on 'im for sumthin' to eat, why, he's 
got to " 

" You don't mean to tell me you ate them ?" 

" ^o; ye didn't let me finish. I sold every one 
on 'em, alive, to Mister Drake what's got a pond 
down the road, and he give me a hundred and 
fifty dollars for 'em in cash !" 

" Pretty good price that. Shorty." 

" Well, I dunno ; one on 'em Avhat weighed 
nigh onto four pounds had only one eye, and that 
'un was right in the middle of his forrid, — jest as 
true as I'm a-settin' here, — and it did make him 
look mighty comikel, I can tell ye." 

" A regular Cyclops," wx interposed. 

" Yes, he was a sly chops, for a fiict ; why, his 
mouth was bigger'n that," placing the palms of 
his two hands together, and separating them as 
far as the wrists. 

" Shorty, what fly are they taking to-day ?" in- 
quired Hamlin, who seemed inclined to divert 
him from the stories that were becoming some- 
what of an infliction. 

" Well, I dunno, but 'pears to me the great 
dun is as good as enny," at the same time re- 
moving his hat and passing every fly, with which 
the band was covered, between his fingers. 

" Of whom do you purchase your flies ? I see 
you have quite a collection," was the next query. 

" Oh, my 'oman makes all my flies." 



92 BODINES. 

" Indeed ; let us look at them," we both re- 
plied ill chorus. 

He passed over the hat, and, taking a seat 
nearer, commenced expatiating upon their rela- 
tive value, as he pointed out each fly with a long, 
bon}' finger. 

" That 'un there," he said, pointing to one of 
McBride's grizzly kings, " that 'un she made yes- 
terday, and I reckon on its bein' first-class, cause 
I took a whopper with it this mornin' already." 

" Where did you procure the feathers?" we 
ventured to inquire. 

" Them speckled ones ?" 

" Yes ; and the hackle, too." 

Reaching down into his dirty pocket, his face 
assuming a somewhat puzzled expression, he 
took out a quarter of a yard of the most villain- 
ous-looking plug-tobacco, placed one corner of 
it between his strong teeth, yanked it back and 
forth, much as a dog would a wood-chuck, until 
the desired quantity was secured within his 
mouth. Then, after working his jaws vigorously 
for a few moments, expectorated a quantity of 
black-looking fiuid over Hamlin's leg into the 
stream beyond; and, slapping the plug upon his 
thigh, replied, — 

" Them purty little speckled uns I got ofi^ha 
woodpecker, and that what you calls a hackle 
ofiha woodcock." 

" Good gracious, doctor, do let him alone ! 



SHORTY. 93 

he'll try to make us believe this stream will re- 
verse its current by to-morrow, and that we must 
stand on our heads to fish it; come, let up," ob- 
served Hamlin, while he rose and scratched 
among the coals for the package of trout placed 
there twenty minutes before. 

" Come," he further added, " the trout are 
done by this time, the tea cool enough to drink, 
and I'm as hungry as need be for the occasion." 

So we spread our luncheon upon a log that lay 
conveniently near, using clean, flat stones for 
plates, and fell to eating. Shorty watched the 
proceedings, as did his boy, who deposited his 
black bag on the bank across the creek and 
drew nearer, w^iping his mouth with his hat and 
looking Avistfully in the direction of the edibles. 
I could not resist his imploring gaze, but took 
a slice of bread, bountifully covered with butter, 
and garnished with a steaming trout, and held it 
toward him, saying, — 

" Come here, you young scalawag, and have a 
bite." 

He approached shyly, bending his body for- 
ward and, reaching as far as his ragged-clad arm 
w^ould permit, grabbed the morsel, much as a 
trout would have taken a fly, and disappeared 
into the brush. 

" Hev ye forgot yer manners ?" Shorty observed, 
looking after him ; but it was too late, the boy 
had gone out of hearing, and was doubtless 



94 BODINES. 

satisfying Lis hunger unseen. Hamlin supplied 
Shorty with a like piece, which he devoured rav- 
enously, grunting his satisfaction between each 
mouthful. 

" Shorty, where do you live ?" I asked, after an 
interval of quiet. 

"Jest down here aways; ye see them pine- 
trees down there about a mile ?" using his pants 
and sleeve for a napkin, as he rose, pointing in 
the direction indicated. " Well, right there's a 
Ijridge that goes acrost the creek ; my shanty's 
there, in the clearin'." 

" What do you do for a living ?" 

" In summer I raises pertaters and corn ; fishes, 
and sells my fish to city chaps what comes here 
a-fisliin' and ketches nothin', and shoemakes in 
the winter." 

" You make enough to support yourself and 
family, do you ?" 

" Oh, yes ; easy. Why, I makes as high as 
twelve dollars a day sum days, a-fishin'. I keeps 
all the fish me and the boys ketches, and when I 
can't sell 'em to the city fellers, I jest runs down 
to Williamsport, and gets fifty cents a pound for 
'em." 

" What, such little ones as you have there in 
your bucket?" 

" Yis, sir ; they all counts in a pound." 

"It's a shame, Shorty, to take those little fish 
from the stream; you will soon ruin the fishing." 



SHORTY. 95 

"Yes, you city fellers all says that; but I 
allers notices that you never throws 'em in your- 
selves. They all says them little uns is so sweet 
to eat, you know." 

" But no true sportsman will do that, Shorty." 

"Well, I clunno : it 'pears to me what you 
calls yer true uns never comes this way, then." 

" I'm sorry our city sportsmen set you so bad 
an example, Shorty; but tell me, do you never 
fish with anything but a hook and line ? for, you 
see, I'm a little skeptical about your being able 
to catch a hundred of those little trout — less than 
two inches in length — upon a hook. I have always 
found them the hardest to capture with flies the 
size of those you wear on your hat." 

" That may all be; but me and my boys ketches 
'em easy enough." Then, twisting off another 
chew from his enormous plug, he stowed it aw^ay 
under his cheek, giving his face the appearance 
of a person suffering from ranula, and prepared 
his mouth for another squirt; at which symp- 
toms Hamlin shifted his seat, fearing, doubtless, 
that the aim might miss and the shot bespatter 
his legs. He then added : " Oh, sometimes we 
puts out a few set-lines at night, and ketches 
some nice ones that way." 

" Indeed ! How do you set them ?" 

" Why, I takes a line about so long," indi- 
cating three feet between his extended hands, 
" and ties it to a branch of some tree that hangs 



96 BODINES. 

over a deep hole, and puts a live minney on the 
hook. His wi2:2:lino: is too much for a hi 2: trout : 
lie just goes for it, and swallers 'im hull. Then 
I has 'im ; 'cause the limh hends just like a pole, 
and he can't tear hisself loose, ye see." 

" How large a trout did you ever catch in that 
manner ?" 

" Tt is nigh onto five years now, I reckon, 
since I ketched a reg'lar walloper that way. He 
Aveighed three pounds fifteen ounces and three- 
quarters ! By golly ! I did want to make him 
weigh even four pounds, hut Squire Bodine 
weighed him and shaved him clost. It was a 
dark night, and the eels were a-runnin' power- 
ful strong. I set a hook on a riiF near my house, 
and along came a eel, just thirty inches long, and 
swallered the hook, and a while afterward that 
big trout tackled Mr. eel and swallered him ; so 
next mornin' I had 'em both." 

" Was the eel alive ?" I innocently inquired. 

" Alive ! In course he was ; and the way he 
must o' stirred up that trout's innards Avas a 
caution ! I reckon he was awful sick to his 
stummick." 

" Well, I should say so. You do catch eels 
here, then ?" 

" Oh, yes ; frequent. I ketched one last fall 
that weighed four pounds, and I swar to good- 
ness if a hig trout didn't try to swaller him, and 
got ketched at it hisself. He took Mr. eel tail 



SHORTY. 97 

on, and the minnit the eel felt sumthin' a-ticklin' 
of his tail he just curled it around so" — indicating 
the bend by a crook of his finger — " and ketched 
him through the gills, and held him there till 
mornin', when I got the two of 'em !" 

" If I were you I'd keep a lot of eels on hand, 
Shorty, and set them every night; they beat 
the * eagle's-claw trap' all to pieces," Hamlin ob- 
served. 

" Well, I was a-thinkin' o' that there myself, 
but tlie're so blessed slippery a feller can't do 
much in the way of a-trainin' of 'em." 

At this, Hamlin looked at his watch, remarked 
that it was three o'clock, that the wind had gone 
down, and if we desired to catch any fish that 
day we had better be at it. So, I rinsed out our 
tea-pot, hung it to my creel-strap, lighted my 
pipe, and was ready for a march down the stream. 
At this demonstration Shorty also rose, looked 
up and down stream for his boy, and, not see- 
ing him, gave a peculiar whistle through his fin- 
gers. Presently the lad, with the black knapsack 
on his back, broke covert, but seeing us, re- 
treated into the bushes again. 

Hamlin and I entered the stream, unreeled our 
lines, and, with a good-by salutation to Shorty, 
passed on, leaving him watching us from the 
bank. After turning the first bend in the creek, 
we were surprised to see Shorty there, and when 
we came within hailins; distance he shouted at 

E 9 



98 BODINES. 

the top of his voice, so that he might be heard 
above the roar of the cascade, — 

" Say, you uns, I forgot to ax ye, doesn't ye 
wanter buy my trout ?" 

" Buy your trout ! You whimpering, shivering 
scoundrel, what do you take us for?" Hamlin 
cried, with supreme disgust depicted upon every 
line of his face. " We are not pot-hunters, you 
miserable shark; get out!" 

"Well, ye needn't git mad about*it; I didn't 
know l)ut what ye might buy 'em ; but I didn't 
see no flask a-haiigin' over yer shoulder, I must 
say, but thought, maybe, ye carried it in yer 
basket." 

" Flask ! flask ! What's that o-ot to do with 
it?'^ Hamlin inquired. 

" Oh, a heap. I allers notices that them fellers 
whot carries their basket under one arm and a 
flask a-hangin' under t'other have more luck 
a-drinkiu' than they do a-ketchin' ov fish, so I 
allers sells 'em my trout, and gets a good price 
for 'em, too," 

" That's all right. Shorty ; but wx have no use 
for your fish ; we are out for sport only, not to 
see how many trout we can destroy. By-by." 

" Good-by, surs. When ye cum this way agin 
ye will most allers find me here on this stream, 
sumwheres about, a-ready to build fires or do 
any other work ye may stand in Avant of." Then, 
with an awkward flourish of his gayly-trimmed 



SHORTY. 



99 



hat and an attempt at what resembled a bow, he 
quitted us ; and as the willows closed behind him 
we heard his voice above the roar of the rapid, 
— " Y-o-u John-7?ee /" to which a ghostly response 
came from somewhere up the stream, — " Hal- 
loo /" We passed on doAvn the cascade and left 
fiither and son to the contemplation of nature-- 
and the defenceless fish. 




CHAPTER YI. 

THE LOYALSOCK. 
A Tea-Party — A Lost Trout — And a Ducking. 

" What do you say, boys, to ttiking the nine 
o'clock train for the Loyalsock?" Preswick 
asked, as we were all seated at the breakfast- 
table one beautiful morning. 

" Pll go, for one," Sanders replied. 

" So will I," added Hamlin. 

" Perhaps I had better join ^-ou too, and so 
complete the quartette. I have not been there 
for two years, and am anxious to try the Hoagland 
branch again. We had excellent fishing there, 
you remember, Hamlin." 

" So we did; and a beautiful stream it is, too." 

'' How had we better go ?" Sanders queried. 

" My advice would be to drive over from Can- 
ton," Preswick suggested. 

" Very good ; if Ave mean to go this morning, 
better fly around and get ready. George, place 
a luncheon in all our creels while we pack our 
rods." 

" Is a change of raiment necessary ?" asked 
Handin. 

100 



THE LOYALSOCK. 101 

"Certainly; we will need dry clothing when we 
come in at night. Let each man take a satchel 
containing an extra shirt, trousers, drawers, and 
stockings, going in light marching order, that we 
may not he hardened with haggage." 

Breakfast finished, all set to work preparing 
for the trip. Charles and liohert agreed to 
keep camp while we were gone, declaring they 
would find sufiicient amusement in carving canes 
and pipes from the laurel-roots, or in embellish- 
ing the grounds. By nine o'clock, dressed in 
fishing suits, and Avith all necessary equipments, 
we were in waiting at Bodines station for the 
train to carry us northward to Canton, distant 
twenty miles. We telegrapli<Kl from Ralston for 
a team to be in readiness upon arrival of the 
train, and when we reached the village, an hour 
later, the horses were ready, prancing before the 
vehicle in which we were to be transported over 
the mountains. 

The distance from Canton to Warburton's (at 
whose house fishermen usually stay, it being con- 
veniently located between the Hoagland and Elk 
Run, while the Loyalsock is a mile lower down) is 
sixteen miles, most of the way being up and down 
the steep and rough mountain-sides. 

The scenery is of a varied and wild character, 
with now and then charming views along the 
route. The first mountain encountered was so 
precipitous as to necessitate our footing it. We 

9"- 



102 BODINES. 

reached the top nearly tired out, and were wil- 
ling to sit down and enjoy the distant landscape. 
Away to the east, as far as the eye could reach, 
hill after hill was seen densely covered with hem- 
lock and spruce. isTow and then a clearing could 
be observed, from which the blue smoke curled 
aloft, indicating the whereabouts of the toiling 
backwoodsman striving to convert the stony, 
rugged wildwood into a productive farm. 

Upon the way down the slope, we occasionally 
encountered a rude farm-house, from which, dirty, 
ragged children peeped coyly out upon the unusual 
spectacle of a conveyance containing persons to 
them unknown. The scantily-clad women ceased 
from their labors in the potato-patches near the 
huts, and leaned lazily upon their hoe-handles, 
gazing stupidly at us until we passed out of sight. 
Ugly dogs ran after the vehicle, barking their dis- 
satisfaction at our intrusion upon their lonely do- 
mains ; sheep scampered wildly down the road in 
front of us, lashing their woolly, stubby tails and 
kicking a cloud of dust in our faces ; crows flew, 
screaming their fright, from the stumpy meadows, 
and did not stop until the mountain beyond was 
reached, where others joined the flock, taking up 
the note of alarm, making the woods ring with 
their abominable clatter; blue-jays flew from 
tree to tree, setting our teeth on edge with their 
file-saw notes, and hawks, soaring among the 
clouds, sent down their disapproving screech at 



THE LOYALSOCK. 103 

the intruding strangers. So we jogged along, 
varying the entertainment with an occasional 
walk of a mile or two, the team meantime floun- 
dering among the stumps and bowlders with 
which our pathway was obstructed. Three 
o'clock found us at cross-roads, both leading, in 
difterent directions, to the Loyalsock. This spot 
is of some note, — to the fisherman, — because of 
its marking the beginning of the Iloagland 
branch, represented by a modest stream in the 
meadow close by. In the fork of the roads is a 
small storehouse-looking structure, with a rude 
sio-n over the door, on which is written in uncer- 
tain characters, — 



Swuxk P 



EV\ 



We stopped and speculated upon the signifi- 
cance of such a name, wondering what sort 
of a pen it could be. Many theories were ad- 
vanced, none of which exactly fitted the case, 
bringing us to the reluctant conclusion that a 
post-ofiice must have once existed here, under the 
name of " Shunk," and that the "Pen" was in- 
tended for an abbreviation of Pennsylvania. This 
seemed to be the most satisfactory solution of the 
problem, notwithstanding our inability to divine 
a use for such an institution, unless under patron- 
age of the sundrj^ wild animals and birds encoun- 



104 BODINES. 

terecl bj tlie way. However, '' Shunkpen" — as 
we have since named it — was one of our object- 
ive-points, consequently Hamlin and I took to 
the stream, while Sanders and Preswick went 
farther down, all agreeing to meet at Wilbur's, 
four miles below, about dusk. The creek is small 
at the point where we first struck it, but bounti- 
fully stocked with small trout, — only now and then 
a large one appearing. Two miles farther on, 
the stream widens and deepens, displaying nu- 
merous cascades, at the foot of which deep pools 
are formed, where we were amply rewarded with 
line fish. 

Our two companions were awaiting us when 
we arrived at Wilbur's. Their creels were well 
filled, and they were delighted with their after- 
noon's work. We met upon a rude bridge that 
crosses the creek near the Wilbur mansion, and 
debated whether it would be best to seek supper 
and lodging there or go four miles farther on, 
to AYarburton's. The house was not attractive : 
it was built of slabs; had an immense stone 
chimney that looked as though it would tumble 
through the roof upon the slightest encourage- 
ment from any strolling zephyr. The gable- 
ends had a few slabs missing, and the roof could 
not strictly be called water-tight. The stable 
was in even worse condition ; but the driver 
having inspected it, — pushing against one corner, 
— concluded it might stand until morning, if 



THE LOVALSOCK. 105 

nothing nnforeseen happened. We therefore 
shouted for the proprietor, who promptly pre- 
sented himself, and from whom we elicited the 
following replies : 

" Can you furnish us with tea and lodging here 
to-night ?" we inquired. 

"Wal, maybe we ken; we've got two heds 
aloft, ye ken hev, and I reckon the old 'omau 
ken make ye tea, if ye likes." 

" Have you hay for the horses ?" 

" 'No, I hasn't no hay." 

" Oats ?" 

"N'o oats neither." 

'' Straw ?" 

"Kary a straw." 

" What under the sun have you then tnat we 
can feed our horses ?" 

" Wal, I ken cut ye some grass; that's what I 
feeds mine." 

" You have horses, then ?" 

" No, not exactly ; but I keeps steers." 

While this conversation was transpiring, San- 
ders entered the house, and, having inspected it, 
returned, reporting that we might possibly sur- 
vive the night in the rickety concern, but that th.e 
undertaking would be somewhat hazardous. 

We finally concluded to accept the situation 
rather than risk a ride over rough roads, through 
the dark woods, to the retreat farther on. We 
all entered the house therefore, deposited our 



106 BODINES. 

luggage, and then took seats upon the grass out- 
side. The woman busied herself preparing the 
tea that Preswick had ordered for the party, 
durino^ which time he interviewed the man of the 
house. 

" How came you here ?" he inquired. 

" Same as you'uns ; fishin'." 

" These your children ?" 

'' IN'o, them boys are not mine ; them's hern." 

" Your wife was a widow, then ?" 

" S'pose so ; I cum here, found her without no 
man, so I stayed ever since." 

At this juncture the woman appeared at the 
door and made the announcement, — 

" Yer tea's cooked." 

We promptly entered the domicile, seated our- 
selves about tlie clothless table, when there, in 
the centre, stood a pot of tea — and nothing else! 

Preswick pushed himself from the table, look- 
ing aghast at the spectacle of the lonely tea-pot; 
and, with his eyes riveted upon it, inquired, — 

" Gracious ! Have you nothinsc else?" 

" Why, no. Ye said ye wanted tea. If ye'd 
sed ye wanted bread too, I could a cooked ye's 
sum." 

Consternation was depicted on every face of 
that hungry party at this astonishing announce- 
ment. 

" Have you nothing at all to eat in this house ?" 
urged Hamlin. 



THE LOFALSOCK. 107 

" We heel our suppers afore niglit, and et up 
all the bread, an' we hevn't been to Canton for 
nothin' for nigh unto six months now; so's we're 
purty much short ov eatin' truck," she replied. 

There was nothing left us but to laugh over our 
misfortune, which we did right heartily. 

While sipping the execrable decoction of herbs 
that she called tea, one of the party thought of 
our forc^otten creels and the luncheons Geor2:e 
had prepared in the morning. They were at once 
brought in, the several packages spread upon the 
bare table, exhibiting a supper the like of which 
the poor woman probably never saw before, and 
at Avhich she gazed with hungry and wistful eyes. 
We ate our " fea," cracked jokes, spun yarns, then 
retired to our former positions upon the grassy 
sward for the evening smoke. 

Our pipes finished, we re-entered the house, ask- 
ing to be shown to bed, upon which the man took 
the dingy lamp, directing us to follow him. This 
we did, up a ladder, through a square hole in the 
ceiling, to the mysterious regions above. Reach- 
ing there, our beds were pointed out, — one upon 
a clumsy, well-worn bedstead, the other, flat 
upon the floor. The only lamp in the house was 
left us, and then lots were drawn for the elevated 
bed. The prize falling to Preswick and Sanders, 
Hamlin and I took the one on the floor, in reach- 
ing which he stepped upon an unsupported end 
of a floor-board, and but for the timely assistance 



108 BODINES. 

of the rest of the party would have fallen upon 
the cooking-stove in the lower apartment. He 
was at once righted, however, and order and 
quiet restored. Bivouacked upon straw beds, 
sleep claimed us until awakened early in the 
morning by the odor of frying pork. We rose 
promptly at this prospect of a breakfast, secured 
a footing upon the tilting boards, dressed, and 
climbed down the ladder to perform our ablu- 
tions at the well, outside. 

The breakfast was a great surprise. It con- 
sisted of fried salt pork, boiled potatoes, milk- 
biscuit, and good butter. Upon inquiry as to 
where these supplies came from, we ascertained 
that the proprietor of the house had walked to 
Warburton's the night before, laying in a suffi- 
cient stock to furnish this lavish meal. 

Our horses fed upon freshly-cut grass, the bill 
paid, — a Godsend to the family, — we adjusted our 
rods and entered the stream, distributing our- 
selves at various points along its course. 

The day was fair, the Avater clear and low, ne- 
cessitating long casts and careful Avading to avoid 
disturbing the pools. 

Early in the season, the trout lie upon the rip- 
ples, feeding upon the larvae of insects found 
clinging to the stones of the creek, and are watch- 
ing for any food that may be passing upon the 
surface of the water. Then, they are taken very 
readily, but little skill being required to keep 



THE LOFALSOCK. 109 

the flies in proper position upon the surfoce of 
the swift current. In the latter part of June, 
however (the time of our visit), the larger trout 
are to be found in the lower portions of the deep 
pools, where the water breaks over to form the 
ripple or cascade, and are best taken by fishing 
up the stream instead of down. By wading 
through the swift water below, and casting a long 
line-,, throwing the flies lightl}- upon the still 
water above, this advantage is secured: being 
in the rear of your game you are not so easily 
seen, and are certain to fix your hook in the 
upper jaw of the rising fish, and the firm hold 
renders his escape less likely. 

Being desirous of reaching Warburton's, our 
headquarters, the team and baggage were sent 
there, while all hands fished down-stream, reach- 
ing our destination in time for dinner, with creels 
showing a fair catch for a half-day casting with 
the current. 

Approaching the house, we saw Sanders com- 
ing toward us with a magnificent trout struggling 
within the folds of his landing-net. Reaching the 
bank, he tossed it upon the ground before the 
group of fishermen. It was a beauty, about six- 
teen inches long, and floundered about until its 
sides were covered with sand. To remove this 
Sanders carried it to the creek for a wash. He 
stooped down upon one knee, and, while looking 
in our faces, detailing the fight made in landing 

10 



no BODINES. 

the fish, gave it two or three rinsings, when the 
trout, with a flop, flew from the jolly fisherman's 
hand, and, to his extreme mortification, swam 
slowly but surely into the deep water of the pool. 
The shout of merriment that greeted the fisher- 
man's ears from the observers on the bank did 
not soothe his feelings in the least. 

" Great scutt ! who would have imagined he 
could travel ofi' in that manner after lying upon 
the bank so long !" was his quiet observation. 

None of us knew precisely w^hat " great scutt" 
meant when translated into English, but as that 
was a choice expression of Sanders's, only used 
upon extraordinary occasions, we concluded that 
it had " a heap of feelin' in it." 

This circumstance was not permitted to fade 
from the memory of the individual most con- 
cerned; whenever he came in view upon the 
creek, during the expedition, his attention was 
secured by a " toot ! toot !" w^hen the hailer would 
stoop down and go through the motion of wash- 
ing a fish, Sanders always turning his head to 
seek consolation by industriously casting his flies. 
The story reached his friends at home also, Avho 
stoop toward the sidewalk to give him the mys- 
tic signal as he passes along ; and to this day the 
memory of it is not permitted to escape him as 
did his glorious fish. 

In the afternoon the party divided : Sanders 
and Preswick fishing up the Hoagland, while 



THE LOYALSOCK. HI 

Hamlin and I resorted to Elk Kun, all agreeing 
to meet by the dam, on the main creek, at dusk; 
there to throw for larger game. 

Elk Run proved to be as pretty a stream and 
as full of trout as the lioagland, so that we met 
at the rendezvous at the appointed time, boasting 
of our success. 

In the midst of our sport under the dam, where 
large trout were rising to our flies, we were hailed 
from the bank by a man seated in a two-horse 
wagon. My name being called, I went ashore, 
to meet an old patient, and an enthusiastic fish- 
erman, in the person of Mr. Wm. Cooner, of 
Watsontown, Avho drives yearly to these waters, 
spending a month at Hillsgrove, at the house of 
J. J. Saddler, four miles below, on the main 
stream. He had heard of our arrival, and came 
to carry us to his stopping-place for tea. A con- 
sultation resulted in an acceptance of the invita- 
tion, Mr. Cooner first having assured Preswick 
that the "tea" should not be of the Wilbur order, 
of the night before. 

We were quickly driven to the spot, and supper 
was at once announced. 

Twelve merry fishermen occupied seats around 
the table as guests of the genial Cooner. At one 
end was a large platter of trout, fried beautifully 
brown (the like of which I never before sat down 
to), the pyramid of fish reaching at least a foot 
above the white cloth. Mashed potatoes, flap- 



112 BODINES. 

jacks with maple syrup, white bread, sweet but- 
ter, hot tea and coffee, were as bountifully sup- 
plied. The host announced that he expected 
every man to perform his duty. " This dish of 
trout must be eaten," he said. 

Keen appetites came to our aid, so that at the 
end of two hours the feast Avas finished, and an 
acknowledo-ment obtained from Mr. Cooner that 
his instructions had been faithfully carried out, 
while the guests were full of thankfulness and — 
trout. 

Then the party gathered upon the porch, 
where pipes were lighted and stories told, until 
the horses were driven to the front gate to carry 
us to Warburton's. The night was a beautiful 
one, our road lighted by the full moon, whose 
bright round face could be seen through the 
branches of the trees and reflected from the rip- 
pling water of the creek. 

By eleven o'clock our trout were all dressed 
and upon ice and we in comfortable beds. In 
the morning a good breakfast was served, after 
which preparations were made for the return to 
camp. 

Forksville, some six miles up the Loyalsock 
from Warburton's, offers great inducements for 
fishing. Another stream enters the main one 
there, at the mouth of which and upon both 
branches, for miles above, abundance of trout 
are caught. The country is wild, unsettled, and 



THE LOYALSOCK. 113 

extremely difficult to get out of, save by follow- 
ing the beds of the creeks. A team can be driven 
from Shunkpen or Warburton's to Forksville, in 
a dense wilderness wild enough to satisfy any 
lover of solitude, and where accommodations can 
be had. Several smaller streams enter into the 
North and South branches of the Loyalsock at 
this point, all worthy of the fisherman's at- 
tention. 

Our creels being already full, and preparations 
made for the return, the Forksville expedition 
was relinquished for the present. 

The creek looked so inviting in front of the 
house that Preswick and I could not resist the 
temptation to make a few casts while the rest of 
the party were arranging the fish for transporta- 
tion home. I reached the stream first, to find 
the great broad rocks, whose flat tops just 
emerged beyond the water's surface, wet and 
slippery from the morning dew. Several slides 
were made before a secure footing was obtained, 
when, looking up the stream, I saw my com- 
panion endeavoring to reach a similar rock. I 
called to him to beware of its treacherous surface, 
to which some response was made that was lost 
in the rapid's roar. He made efforts at reaching 
a rock near the centre of the pool, and I sent 
another caution for carefulness. 

'' All right; I'll not fall !" came back to me in 
the roar of the cascade. 

10* 



114 BODINES. 

Presently a splash was heard behind, causing 
me to look in Preswick's direction, to find him 
standing in the middle of the pool, with water 
running in rivulets from hair and finger-ends, 
while he assumed the most comical attitudes in 
endeavorins: to reach the bank before his catas- 
trophe should be discovered. His hat and rod 
were keeping company upon the rapid, both of 
which I rescued as they came within reach, and 
then sat down to join in the laugh over my 
friend's untimely bath. 

In a short time things w^ere righted, the wagon 
loaded, and a start made on the homeward track. 

We reached Canton in time for the 10.47 train 
south, which brought us to Bodines at 11.36 the 
same morning. 

Robert and Charles were on hand with the 
boats and paddled us into camp ; the trout were 
then sorted, wiped dry, packed m dry grass, and 
forwarded to friends at home, arriving there, 
as we afterward learned, the same night, in good 
order. Our united catch amounted to over four 
hundred trout, from six to sixteen inches in 
length, so that our trip proved a very enjoyable 
one, at a cost of seven dollars for team and driver, 
four dollars at Wilbur's and six dollars at War- 
burton's, in all seventeen dollars, to be divided 
among four persons. 

During our absence Robert and Charles had 
reconstructed the ice-chest, covering it with sods 



THE LOYALSOCK. 115 

and ornamenting it with ferns until it was com- 
pletely sheltered from the sun. The island point 
was terraced to the water's edge, and a rustic 
bridge built to join the point with the smaller 
island in front. Over the bridge an arbor of 
hemlock boughs was raised, enhancing the view 
of the pond beyond. Large ferns were planted 
at various points about the camp, and a wild- 
flower bed, amply stocked with blooming plants, 
made in the rear of the large tent. A rustic 
reading-table stood in the place of the one made 
of slabs, and the old bouquets were supplanted 
by fresh ones. 

In our usual chat about the camp-fire that 
night, all agreed that the past two days were 
brimful of pleasure. "We retired earlier than 
usual, being tired from the day's work, soon fall- 
ing into refreshing sleep, which was not inter- 
rupted until the wood-robin, at the peep of da}', 
began his welcoming carol to the morning sun. 




CHAPTER VII. 

OTHER STREAMS. 

Tioga, Kettle, Cross Forks, Young Woman, Pine, and Other 

Creeks. 

Gathered under the shade of the beech and 
elm, we all sat one pleasant afternoon, trying to 
arrange another expedition to some distant fish- 
ing-ground. 

Hamlin favored " Kiffs," a mill-pond on the 
head-waters of the Tioga River, to reach which 
we quit the train at Alba, a few miles north of 
Canton. A walk or ride of eight miles is then 
necessary, over the Armenia Mountains, until we 
strike the pond. Many times have Hamlin and 
I visited this spot in years gone by, constructed 
rafts which we paddled to the centre of the pond, 
where, among stumps, dead trees, logs, and 
other debris, we captured any quantity of ten- and 
twelve-inch trout, on a worm ! The number 
caught was only limited by our endurance. If 
we could sit in the broilinsf sun from mornins: 
until night, the trout secured could not be carried 
from the raft by one person. They would not 
rise to a fly, no matter how skilful the cast or 
liow tempting the artificial device ; nothing but 

116 



OTHER STREAMS. HY 

a worm would bring them from the depths below. 
Hamlin, more patient with that sort of sport 
than I, secured the most trout, while I amused 
myself easting the % for frogs, with which the 
pond abounded. I almost enticed the silent hsh- 
erman from his solemn watch upon the raft when 
once he discovered the rare sport I was having 
with the large green frogs, that jumped at a 
gaudy fly dangled before their noses. A big 
fellow, snapping the fly within his monstrous 
mouth, with a jerk, was flung high into the air, 
where he spread out his arms and legs in the 
most comical manner, then fell with a spat upon 
the water, that knocked grunt and breath out of 
him at the same time. J^ow and then one would 
be tossed upon Hamlin's raft, blinking his great 
yellow eyes and pawing vigorously at his lacerated 
mouth, assuming the while such grotesque posi- 
tions as to set the fisherman roaring with laughter. 

In the evening we quitted the pond to cast the 
fly in Tioga River, lying within a stone's throw 
thereof. The river is smaller than Lycoming 
Creek, but has many fine pools and rapids that 
contain a reasonable number of trout. We have 
taken many a pound trout and larger from its 
bosom. A Mr. Kifl' has a saw-mill and dwellino:- 
house near by, and will entertain any fishermen 
who visit these waters. 

" How long since you were there, Hamlin ?" 
Preswick inquired. 



118 BODINES. 

" ]N"ot since we all lodged in the barn, — four 
years ago." 

" Oh, I remember that excursion well. You 
got me to cover you all with hay, then left me 
to shift for myself." 

" Precisely ; but did not every one of us vol- 
unteer to get up and cover you too, if you would 
do the same by us afterward?" answered Hamlin. 

" Which I agreed to do — in the morning, a,nd 
every mother's son of you declined." 

^' Well, we had a good time, any way, and 
brought home lots of fish," said Sanders. " I 
wonder whether we could do as well now?" 

" I do not doubt it," Hamlin answered. 

" We should have gone over into the Pine 
Creek region before we came here," Preswick 
urged. " I have never been over that ground 
much, and should like to try it. I'm told excel- 
lent fishing is to be found there." 

" Yes ; that is Chandler's favorite ground. 
He stops at Oleona, fishing mostly on Kettle 
Creek," I said. " It is a beautiful stream, too, 
— one of the finest in the country." 

" How do you get there ?" Charles asked. '' I 
have heard my Philadelpliia friends talk much 
of that country." 

" The best route for you, Charles, — coming 
from Brooklyn or Philadelphia, — would be to 
go to Westport, on the Philadelphia and ]Srie 
llailwa3\ It is the first station beyond Renovo. 



OTHER STREAMS. HO 

There is a good hotel there, kept by John Kob- 
bins, where you had better remain over-night. 
A party of four persons should go, making tlic 
expense much lighter. Take a small A tent, a 
few canned meats, and a quantity of tea and 
coffee. Other supplies, such as bread, butter, 
and pork, can be had at the hotel. Mr. Robbins 
will furnish you with a good team, and a driver 
named ' Joe,' who knows every foot of the road, 
as well as the best fishing-points. He is also a 
fair cook, and carries with him frying-pan, coffee- 
pot, and other necessary utensils for preparing 
an out-door meal. With Joe and party start 
early in the morning up the creek (the hotel 
being at the mouth of Kettle Creek), and stop 
at Trout Run, fifteen miles out, for dinner. You 
will find a hotel there also, where a fair meal 
can be had. After dinner drive to the mouth of 
Cross Forks, seven miles farther on, and a fine 
fishing-point. Charley Leonhardt keeps a neat 
little hotel there, where you will find excellent 
accommodations. One or two days can be spent 
very profitably fishing on the Forks and Kettle. 
You will reach the place in time for evening 
fishing. Very fine trout are taken under the 
dam on a fiy during May and June. You can 
dismiss your team here if you choose, and en- 
gage Joe to call for you upon an appointed day ; 
but the best plan is to keep him and the team 
along, enabling you to make excursions to the 



1 20 HOD INKS. 

various streams in the vicinity. lie can drive 
you up Cross Forks, dropping two of the party 
two miles away, and the others two miles beyond 
them, when all can fish down to some point 
jigreed upon, where Joe can have coffee made 
and the tent pitched if rain is threatened, or for 
your accommodation during the night, should 
you decide to lie out. He will also clean and 
l)ack your fish, making himself generally useful 
and you very comfortable. 

" When you have travelled over these creeks 
to your satisfaction, drive to Oleona, nine miles 
farther up the main creek. This is the point 
where Ole Bull attempted to form a Norwegian 
colony. The enterprise proved a failure, liow- 
ever; but one of the original party remains, in 
the person of Mr. Andreson, who was the original 
secretary of the expedition. Mr. Burt Oleson, 
who also resides here, is a clever, obliging gentle- 
man, and an ardent fisherman. He will cheer- 
fully impart information relative to the best fish- 
ing-points in the vicinity. The only hotel is kept 
neat and cleanly by Mr. Edgcomb, who sets an 
excellent table, and is accommodating to all fish- 
ermen who fall in his way. 

" Ycm will now cast your flies on the main 
stream and Little Kettle Creek, that enters at this 
point. The country is very wild and rugged ; not 
a house is seen for miles, as you fish up or down 
the stream. Wild animals are constantly encoun- 



OTIIKIl STREAMS. 121 

torcd. Door meet yoii on the Htrcarn uiid Ktjirc 
you out of (^ouiitcnauce, and bears and wilrl-catH 
Heram)>le out of the way as you pass alorji^:. No 
more deli^^litful waters for fly-fisliiiig ean }>e found 
in tlie State; tlje fisli are bountiful and of lar^e 
size. Tfie ]ar^(%st trout are eaught early in May, 
but good sport may be had at all times during 
the fishing season. Young Woman's Creek, Slate 
Run, Big and Little Pine Creeks, are all within 
lialf a day drive from this point, to all of which 
Joe will take you over tolerably good roads. 

*'A week or more can be very pleasantly s|K;nt 
in this region, by camping upon the streams, 
having Joe to do the cooking, to drive you from 
point to point, and to bring your milk, butter, 
eggs, and bread from the hotels. 

"The largest ii?ih only should be retained, as 
you will capture far more tlian your necessities 
require. The catches of the last few days of your 
stay can be sent to tlje hotel, and kept upon ice 
ready for transportation to your homes. 

"■ The trip, for four persons, is not a very ex- 
pensive one, even if you keep the team with you. 
Driver and conveyance cost three dollars and fifty 
cents per day. TJie liotels charge one dollar a 
day for man or beast. ' A trip of one week, from 
Westport and return, costs twenty-one dollars 
for team and man, and forty-two dollars for sub- 
sistence for the entire party, or afjout sixteen 
dollars for each perfjon. 
I- n 



122 BODINES. 

"• Germaiiia is live miles farther on, whence 
Pine Creek and tributaries are easily reached. 
A stage runs out from Oleona to that point every 
other day. Usually, however, parties who desire 
to visit these streams exclusivelv, come in from 
the opposite direction, hiring a team at Wells- 
boro', in Tioga County, the nearest railway 
station. That place is most conveniently reached 
from Elmira, by the Elmira and State Line Rail- 
way, whence you can drive over the mountains, 
nine miles, to Marsh Creek, which empties into 
Big Pine, and is an excellent fly-stream. Tlience 
on to Harrington's hotel, one mile above, on 
the same stream. Good fishing will be found 
here also, with superior accommodations at the 
public-house named. Mr. Harrington is a cour- 
teous old gentleman, who will perform any ser- 
vice to make your stay agreeable and comfort- 
able. From his hotel to old Hod Yermilyea's, 
as he is familiarly called, is six miles. Before 
reaching it, you cross two good trout-streams, at 
two and a half and four miles out. A day or two 
can be pleasantly spent at Yermilyea's, whence a 
drive of six miles brings you to Ainsley's. Here 
Big and Little Pine Creeks form a junction, 
around which is perhaps the best fishing upon 
these two famous streams. Ainsley keeps a very 
good public-house, right at the forks of the two 
creeks, and has a team that can be employed to 
carry you to any point desired. Your own team 



OTHER STREAMS. 123 

can be dismissed, therefore, while you spend a 
week or more casting over the delightful waters 
of this region. Three miles above, you find Gen- 
esee Forks, and a few miles beyond that, Cush- 
ing's Creek, where you have reached the ultimate 
point of the fly-fishing territory. Beyond, the 
streams are too small, but are alive with the small 
fry that stock the larger waters. I^Tow, if you 
choose to follow up the trail and go over to Kettle 
Creek, and the region already described, it is but 
a seven miles drive from Ainsley's, or Pike Mills 
Post-Oflice (as laid down on the map), to Ger- 
mania. I have already made you familiar with 
the country, from this point, clear through to 
Westport." 

" But such an expedition is out of the question 
now," Preswick said. " It is too late in the 
season, and we do not want to go so far." 

"True; I was only directing Charles how to 
reach these grounds when he chooses to go. For 
us, just now, it would be too long a jaunt, occupy- 
ing more time than is allotted to the remainder 
of our vacation." 

"How would it do to go up Tim Gray's, — way 
up above the splash dam ? That is close by, and 
we can strike it even higher up by climbing 
this mountain, through the gulley, opposite the 
squire's dam," Sanders suggested. " It is but 
two miles over by this route, and we can make 
the trip easily in a day." 



124 BOD I NFS. 

" Sanders, you never seem to get enough of 
Tim Gray's," Hamlin replied. " Why, you didn't 
do a thing up there the other day." 

"I know it; hut I didn't have a fair chance. 
There are lots of fish there, if we can only strike 
the stream at the right time. I'm willing to try it 
again, or I will go with you up Pleasant Stream." 

" I think our chances are much hetter for 
Pleasant Stream," Hamlin observed ; " but I 
presume we would encounter Shorty and a dozen 
others floundering about there." 

" It's a delightful stream to be upon, even if 
we don't take a fish," Preswick answered. " Sup- 
pose we get the squire to drive us above Craw- 
ford's in the morning. We can fish down to the 
main stream by noon, and there have a dinner 
of steamed trout and tea. In the evening, we 
can cast on the main stream, and be down at 
camp in time for supper. I^oav, that would make 
a pleasant day of it." 

" Or let us drive up Bloody Pun, out to Cas- 
cade, — only six miles away, over a splendid road. 
Two of us can fish Salt Pun, in which there are 
fine trout that never had a fly presented them 
until I did it myself. The Pev. Father Dunn 
captured one there weighing a pound and a half 
one day last week. Then the other two of us can 
go a little farther and try Wallace's Pun, which 
flows in the opposite direction, emptying into 
the Loyalsock. This, too, is a good stream, sel- 



OTHER STREAMS. 125 

dom visited by any but native fishermen. This 
will be entirely new ground to us, and ofiers 
that inducement, even should we catch but few 
fish. John Bodine will drive us out and return 
by moonlight, or we can take blankets and lodge 
under the wagon should the fishing warrant a 
longer stay. What do you say to that V I inquired. 

" That sounds well,'^ Preswick said ; '' suppose 
we try it ?" 

This project was finally settled upon, all agree- 
ing to breakfiist at five in the morning, and 
to be in the wagon by six, ready fi)r the start. 
Just as the council was concluded and we were 
about to rise from the grass, an immense bou- 
quet of wild-flowers came rattling through the 
branches of the trees, falling mth a thump in 
our midst. 

'' What in fury's that ?" Sanders exclaimed, 
quickly rolling over, as from some imaginary 
danger. 

" Only a bunch of flowers," Preswick said, 
picking them up and looking them over; "and 
very pretty they are, too. Wonder where they 
came from ?" 

" I'll wager a cookie Williams is not far away," 
Hamlin suggested. " I know of no one that would 
stop to gather such a quantity of flowers in this 
locality hut he. Let's look him up." 

At this he rose, went down the bank behind 
the tent, and from there proclaimed, — 

11* 



126 BODINES. 

" Here he is ! I've treed him !" 

" Break cover with lum !" '' Retrieve him !" 
"Bring him in out of the wet!" and similar ex- 
clamations greeted the announcement. 

Soon Hamlin appeared, leading the tall, good- 
looking Canandaiguan hy the ear, demanding 
that he should give an account of himself. 

" Well," he said, " I heard you were all down 
here having a good time, so I came to see ahout 
it. I got off at Ralston and walked down the 
road, gathering those magnificent flowers I just 
now tossed to you, and which you do not seem to 
appreciate as cultivated gentlemen should, allow 
me to observe. I never saw such a profusion of 
wild-flowers in all my life as are covering the 
mountain-side from Ralston to this camp ; why, 
the rhododendrons are gorgeous ! exquisite ! Just 
look at them ! Did you ever see anything half 
as beautiful ?" And he held a fine cluster up 
for inspection. 

" Very pretty indeed, Williams," I said, '' hut 
not as beautiful as the laurels, according to my 
thinking; indeed, I never could understand why 
people will go into ecstasies over the rhododen- 
drons when the laurel-blossoms are so very much 
prettier. Look at that cluster of laurel-buds, for 
instance, and name a flower, if you can, possess- 
ing so many lovely features. See how shell-like 
those half-open buds are, with the delicate pink 
dots upon their corrugated surfiiees. What a 



OTHER STREAMS. 127 

lovely blush the full flowers possess ! and how 
admirably they harmonize with the dark-green 
leaves and delicately- tinted buds ! Talk not to 
me of rhododendrons when the charming laurels 
are to be had." 

" Well, I suppose I will have to compromise 
with you, doctor, and call them all beautiful, 
particularly as you seem to stand ready to be- 
come their champion," he said. '' Have you ob- 
served the wild geraniums and forget-me-nots 
with which the wet, mossy rocks are covered ?" 

" Yes ; our wild-flower bed by the tent yonder 
contains specimens of all flowering plants to be 
found in these wilds. That delicate little white 
flower that grows npon a small running vine, 
commonly called the ' partridge-berry,' is as 
fra2:rant as the trailins: arbutus. I have taken 
up a fine bed of it, which I mean to transfer to 
the wild -flower department of my garden at 
home. The trilliums, vetches, lupins, and the 
endless varieties of ferns are particularly fine 
here. You must remain in camp over night, 
Williams, and accompany us up Bloody Run in 
the morning, and I will show you flowers in 
such profusion and beauty that you will feel 
like remaining forever in the mossy little dells 
that contain them." 

" Thank you. Would like to remain, but the 
truth is, I am such a poor sleeper that I'm afraid 
I would have a restless \\\^\\t of it." 



128 BODINES. 

" I'll fix you, Mr. Williams," Charles responded, 
" if 3'Ou will permit me, so that I will guarantee 
you to sleep like a baby." 

"With colic?" 

"No, indeed; but like one that has had its 
bottle, or dose of soothing-syrup, and is tucked 
away peacefully and contentedly for the night." 

" Very good. If you will agree not to be 
disturbed by my restlessness, I'll stay with you." 

" All right, sir; I will make you a bed in the 
back tent, upon a straw tick covered with a cot- 
ton-filled comfortable, that will aflbrd you a 
mattress so soft and yielding that, when I have 
sponged you off and placed you upon it, I'm 
sure we shall hear nothing of you until George 
plays his reveille for breakfast." 

" IN'ow, boys, that being disposed of, let us pre- 
pare for the evening fishing. Here have we been 
chatting the entire afternoon, until the creek is 
already in shadow. Come, Williams, go with 
us : we will show you where we have ' marked 
down' several beauties that we shall be delighted 
to see you capture." 

" Excuse me, gentlemen ; if it is all the same 
to you, I will take a walk along the mountain 
and examine the flow^ers." 

"You will never get him into the stream while 
a flow^er can be seen upon the bank," Hamlin said ; 
" so waste no time in urging him to go fishing, but 
let us be ofiF ourselves." 



OTHER STREAMS. 129 

At this we took down our rods, and slung 
the creels over our shoulders. Williams did the 
same with his tin flower-box, and all started up 
the stream, spending a most delightful evening 
in visiting our favorite pools, and matching our 
skill against the cunning of the old trout we 
had pricked and lost upon previous trials. 

At dark we answered to George's blasts upon 
the horn, and were soon gathered about the sup- 
per-table to hear Charles's graphic description 
of how a deer came bounding through the camp- 
grounds, passing between the two rear tents and 
frightening George almost white, as it ran to- 
ward him with hair bristling in the wrong direc- 
tion and eyes glistening like balls of fire. 

" I declar' to goodness," George added, after 
listening to the recital, " I was afeared he was 
a-goin' to bite me — shuah ; ho 'pearcd mighty 
forbiddin' like." 

"Why didn't you try Mr. Hamlin's plan, 
George, and catch him on a fly?" Robert in- 
quired. 

" Gwachious ! I was too much skeered, and glad 
enuflT to see him skip out. He did run fearful 
fast when I blowed de horn in his ear; he just 
jumped clean over da hammick and was gone in 
less'n no time." 

" This point is a ' runway' for deer," Handin 
explained ; " several have passed over it since 
we have been camping here. Doubtless this one 



130 BO^INES. 

had been chased by dogs, else would he not have 
ventured so near the tents. They will run over 
anything that comes in their way when fright- 
ened, and will show fight if interfered with. 
Lucky you got out of his way, George." 

" Certin shuah, sah. I climes a tree when 
annuder comes." 

The evening passed rapidly, while stories were 
told around the camp-fire, the serenades of the 
night-birds listened to, until ten o'clock reminded 
us of our beds, and that we had better seek them, 
so we might the earlier awake for the contem- 
plated morning ride. Then the pipes were emp- 
tied, the " good-nights" said, and all the campers 
snugly tucked away by Charles, who wiped their 
faces with that huge sponge of his, then glided 
silently away to commune with the owls, return- 
ing to bed no one knew how or when. 




CHAPTEE VIII. 

FLY-CASTING. 
For Trout, Squirrels, Deer, and other Game. 

Hamlin had raised a fish which in angling par- 
lance is designated a "^buster"; he had spent a 
large share of the morning in an eftbrt to entice 
him from his secure retreat, under a leaning 
beech by the long pool immediately above the 
slope wall ; had even climbed up the beech, and, 
sitting astride one of its limbs, peered into the 
deep pool below to obtain a glimpse of the daring 
fellow who created such a splash in carrying 
away a fly and leader. 

As I came around the turn in the creek, emero;- 
ing from a clump of willows upon its bank, I 
looked for the enthusiastic fisherman, and soon 
discovered him upon the lofty perch, carefully 
dangling his flies below. Now and then, I could 
see a swirl in the water beneath, at which he 
gave a vigorous jerk, tossing his flies among the 
scraggly branches; then extricating them from 
the entanglement, and himself from the tree, he 
carefully descended, sat down upon the bank for 
a few minutes, arose, entered the stream a short 
distance above the trout's lair, and began a skil- 

131 



132 BODINES. 

ful casting of the flies, but failed in securing any 
response from the trout. Again and again he 
tried to throw them under the overhanging limhs ; 
but so low were they, that every effort failed. 
He reeled up the line, stood in the water waist- 
deep, looked anxiously toward the tree -top, and 
meditated. I could almost hear his thoughts, — 
his every motion and expression plainly indi- 
cating that he was trying to solve the problem of 
getting those flies where the old trout was lazily 
rising to take the natural ones that flew against 
the branches, and then fell, struggling helplessly, 
into the pool. 

My presence upon the scene had not been dis- 
covered, so I sat down to await developments. 
Suddenl}^ the fisherman looked about, gazed aloft 
into another tree, then stood upon tiptoe, and 
reached for a leaf that proved to be just beyond 
his grasp ; and, as his hand swept by it, lost his 
balance, almost falling into the water: straighten- 
ing up again, shading his eyes with one hand, he 
closely scrutinized the shore, making it evident 
that he wanted something, but just what, I could 
not divine. Finally his legs followed the direc- 
tion of his gaze, and, taking a chip from the bank, 
he carried it out to his former position, where he 
again cast toward the tree-top, until his line be- 
came of proper length, when he drew it toward 
him and placed the leading fly upon the chip, 
permitting it to float silently away with the cur- 



FLY-CASTING. 133 

rent. "A happy thought!" I mentally exclaimed, 
and immediately rose to watch the result of that 
little piece of strategy. I saw the chip gliding 
among the twigs ; observed a gentle twitch that 
dislodged the fly from its resting-place to bob 
upon the water's surface. A splash, a strike, a 
shrill rattle of the reel, and a whoop from the 
fisherman told the success of the exploit : the wary 
old trout was at last outwitted ; an artificial fly, 
in a position where he had never seen one before, 
fastened itself in his greedy jaw. I hastened to 
render any assistance to disentangle him from the 
submerged branches ; but, notwithstanding our 
eftbrts to chase him below or to draw him above 
this place, he persisted in remaining just where 
he was, diving among the drooping boughs in 
such a manner as to render the leader a hopeless 
tangle. An effort to place the landing-net under 
him failed, and giving a sudden, vindictive lurch, 
he parted the tackle, and escaped. 

To part company with a large trout after a few 
minutes struggle for the mastery, is anything 
but a delightful sensation ; to have the well-bent 
rod suddenly straighten out, throwing the limp 
and leaderless line into your face, sending a cold 
chill down your spinal column, changing a. tri- 
umphant tremor into a miserable disappointment, 
is not an impression of an enjoyable character. 

"All right, old fellow, I know you are there, 
and will try you again some time," was Hamlin's 

12 



134 BODINES. 

parting salutation, as we sauntered on down the 
stream. 

At the high bank, a stop was made, to cast 
over the favorite ripple that runs along its base. 
Cold springs are bubbling up from its bottom, 
affording capital ground for large fish. 

I was standing at the top of the rapid, while 
Hamlin occupied the bank in front of a deep pool 
where some drift-wood had lodged against a fallen 
tree. He had made several casts without securing 
a rise, and when just about to make a longer 
throw, while his flies were still in the air, sud- 
denly, from the depths of the pool, among the 
flood-Avood, came an apparition that startled him, 
causing his line to fall among the clover-tops be- 
hind. 

I looked in the direction indicated by his finger, 
and there stood a buck, his head proudly erect, 
staring at his astonished observer on the bank. 

Hamlin, true to his nature, lifted the flies from 
the grass, poised them in the air an instant, then 
with a forward motion of the rod, at which the 
deer made a bound for the opposite shore, pro- 
jected them fairly upon his retreating back. A 
hook fastened itself in his rump, at the prick of 
which the deer made a few frantic plunges that 
brought him upon the shore, with Hamlin scram- 
bling along in his wake vainly endeavoring to dis- 
engage the flies. 

The buck, frightened into renewed eflbrts of 




i r> 



FLY-CASTING. 135 

speed bj his sliouting pursuer (who loudly called 
upon him to stop, declaring tluit he would be only 
too glad to let him oft' if he would but wait a 
moment), made astonishing strides down the 
opposite shore, causing the reel to rattle as it 
never did before, until every particle of line ex- 
tended in a bright streak behind him, and snapped 
like an electric spark, as he leaped over the wil- 
lows into the thicket beyond ! 

The luckless fisherman held the stripped pole 
in his hand, inspected it from tip to butt, then, 
looking shyly toward me, exclaimed, — 

"Well, confound him! he didn't get my reel, 
anyhow !" 

"Why didn't you give him the butt?" I in- 
quired. 

" Gracious ! I gave him all my line and leader ; 
I thought that enough for one time." 

" If you could only have held him a little 
longer, I might have had my landing-net under 
him." 

" He landed himself ; that was my whole 
trouble. Had he remained in the water, I could 
have manao^ed him well enou2:h. But I never 
had any experience with game jumping on shore 
and skedaddling overland into the bushes before ; 
consequently didn't know how to manage him. 

Never mind, I know where he is !N^o, blamed 

if I do, either; for the last I saw of him he went 
over those willows yonder like a meteor, with 



136 BODINES. 

forty yards of most excellent line to lengthen out 
his tail with. Well, let's ' mark him down' and 
try another pool." 

This propensity of Hamlin's for casting flies at 
every living creature that came in his way be- 
came a very fruitful cause of trouble to him. I 
remember once, in passing through the woods. 
Ills encountering an old rufted grouse, who dis- 
played her maternal antics of lameness — flutter- 
ing seemingly helpless wings — in order to lead 
him from her young. He made a cast as usual, 
catchins: her at the base of a wins;. The instant 
she discovered herself fastened to something she 
became exceedingly lively, scampering about in 
every direction, while her captor tried to reel her 
in. The line becoming very short, she darted 
around the trunk of a tree a half-dozen times, 
shivering the slender lancewood tip into frag- 
ments, and then escaped with leader and flies. 

Many have been the red squirrels hooked in the 
same manner, when found swimming the stream. 

One evening a large bat annoyed him by flying 
about in his way ; he hooked it also, frightening 
it into a tree-top with leader and flies, Avhere it 
hung suspended, screaming and biting itself into 
a frenzy that forl)ade any approach. The next 
morning the indefatigable fisherman climbed the 
tree to secure his line ; but when he reached the 
bat there was a lively contention as to who should 
possess the property ; for every time the line was 



FLY-CASTING. 137 

pulled upon, tlie bat flew at his pursuer, snapping 
and biting in the most furious manner. Finally 
the gan had to be brought to bear upon the 
blood-thirsty little rascal before the line could be 
reclaimed. 

Such incidents go to make up a full day in 
camp, and are referred to, time and again, about 
the camp-fire at night, are related to friends from 
the city, who occasionally call, and afford merri- 
ment at the club or about the whist-table during 
long winter evenings. 

As I look over my note-book, so many comical 
situations of myself and friends crowd themselves 
before me that I hardly can decide which to relate 
and which to allow to remain within its sacred 
leaves for the enjoyment only of the select coterie 
of anglers who took part in them. 

But we must not loiter by the way ; friends, a 
bevy of ladies, have written us that they will arrive 
in camp by the eleven o'clock train to-morrow to 
partake of a trout dinner, necessitating the cap- 
ture of a supply of that luscious fish, else will 
their hopes and desires lead to disappointment. 

Hamlin started toward camp for another line, 
and I took to the stream in pursuit of the needed 
trout. I^obly was my rod rewarded, for when 
camp was reached, at dinner-time, eighteen beau- 
ties graced my creel as a nucleus for the day's 
catch. Hamlin, having repaired damages, ap- 
peared at the same hour with a thirteen-incher 

12- 



138 BODINES. 

among other fine ones that he had succeeded in 
landing. 

The large one was a noble fish, fat and plump, 
and was a trophy he had a right to be proud of, as 
it was the largest trout that had yet been brought 
to camp. As the fisherman settled himself in the 
barrel-chair, pipe in mouth, with a challenge to 
match him, his satisfaction was something to be 
envious of. 

Charles, the Brooklynite, and Eobert, the 
bookseller, were busy all the morning beautif3'ing 
the camp for the reception of the ladies on the 
morrow. The posts that supported the canopy 
over the dining-hall were beautifully decorated 
with hemlock boughs, ferns, and wild-flowers. 
Wreaths of flow^ers were suspended in the large 
tent, while festoons of laurels and rhododendrons 
ornamented the one used as a parlor. Bouquets 
occupied every available place, and the ground 
was swept as clean as a parlor floor. Flags deco- 
rated the eaves of all the tents, and waved from 
their peaks, while the large one, bearing the ex- 
pressive name of " Camp Don't-Care-a-Darn," 
floated gracefully upon the breeze from the 
highest pine on the point. Right well had the 
" committee on decorations" performed their duty, 
and now they rested to inspect the catches of the 
" committee on supplies," who had just entered 
dripping from the creek. 

" Doctor, it will never do to permit Hamlin to 



FLY-CASTING. 139 

show the largest fish to-morrow ; you must match 
him," Robert urged. 

" It can't be done/'" Charles replied. 

"Lemonade for the crowd that it can," was 
Robert's challens^e. 

" With a stick in it?" Charles queried. 

" Yea." 

" Done !" 

And then I was hustled off to win or lose the 
Avager. 

As I entered the stream, Hamlin, who still oc- 
cupied the chair, contentedly smoking his pipe, 
shouted to me to return and help him hold the 
stakes, but I passed on to try my skill on an old 
fellow that had been "marked down" in the 
morning. 

In a short time I succeeded in hooking him, 
and, from the strain on the rod, I judged him to 
be a match for the one in camp, therefore I 
shouted, bringing a delegation of campers to the 
spot at once. He was landed, carried to camp, 
and laid before the captor of the other fish, who 
promptly declined to allow it as an equal. They 
were placed side by side, and the last one mani- 
festly fiiiled to reach the dimensions of his prede- 
cessor by just one-quarter of an inch. 

Robert tried hard to have it allowed as an equal 
and the bet called a draw, that every fellow might 
treat himself, but this was stoutly resisted by 
Charles, who insisted upon another trial. 



140 BODINES. 

Hamlin was appealed to, but was immovable as 
the everlastiiig hills. The trout did not come up 
to the mark, and that was the end of it. Much 
merriment and many witticisms v/ere indulged 
in over the discussion. Robert, like Procrustes 
of old, endeavored to stretch the trout, to make 
it measure the thirteen inches, but Charles forced 
the nose of the fish in the opposite direction. 

Finally, I was sent out again, and the memory 
of that afternoon will linger with me always ; for, 
by a singular good fortune, I captured the largest 
trout of that season. 

Did you ever take a fifteen-inch trout with a del- 
icate fly, upon a slender leader, and an elastic rod 
weighing less than six ounces ? Did you ? Fun ! 
Shade of Izaak Walton, fun is no name for it! 

Imagine a beautiful clear afternoon, with the 
sun just preparing to sink behind the mountain 
at your back ; a pool upon which no ripple shows, 
save those that roll in gentle rings from bank to 
bank as each succeeding step places you nearer 
the mossy log lying half embosomed in the water 
before you, and under which a trout is supposed 
to lie. Carefully is the cast made, dropping the 
flies but a few feet from the spot ; and, as you 
recover the line, a whirl in the water announces 
that your expected fish is there, but has missed 
the fly. From the wake you determine him to 
be a rouser, and stand almost motionless while 
reeling in the line for another cast. 



FLY-CASTING. 141 

Throwing your flies through the air hack and 
forth, until the required length of line has heen 
again unreeled, the gossamer leader with its 
downy flies shoots directly toward the log, and, 
as the line uncoils, is launched in a straight line 
immediately over the spot. The deceptive flies 
settle upon the water softly, gently, without the 
slightest splash to indicate their position. Sud- 
denly the w^ater boils about them, sending a 
thrill through your body and an involuntary 
movement to your wrist, the dull thud, when the 
strike is made, giving evidence that the game is 
hooked and is one of the largest of its kind. 
Instantly your reel is set whizzing as the fish 
rushes madly up the pool, while every inch of 
line is taken in his flight, when the terrific strain 
upon the rod bends it pliantly from tip to butt; 
and, feeling the stout resistance to his advance, 
he leaps from the water, throwing the crystal 
drops from his golden sides, wildly shaking his 
head to free himself from the hook. You are 
careful that he secures no slack, and cautiously 
reel him toward you. At this he dives to the 
bottom of the pool, remaining so motionles's that 
you fear he has fastened the hook to a root or 
stone and made good his escape. The thought 
sends a cold chill through your frame, as you 
carefully draw upon the line to ascertain whether 
he has really fled. Soon, the steady pressure 
brings him again to the surface, where he floun- 



142 BODINES. 

ders and dives to and fro in a manner that tests 
the deUcate tackle to the utmost. Keeling him 
near ^^ou, the landing-net is loosened from its 
button on jour back and made ready for his re- 
ception; but before yon can get it under the 
sprightly fellow, away he goes again, far down the 
pool, until he rests upon the very brink of the 
foaming rapids. Your chances now of saving 
the prize are precarious in the extreme ; and, 
while the trout struggles and tugs to gain the 
swift water and so elude your hold upon him, 
the butt of the rod is advanced toward him that 
he may have the full spring and so relieve the 
strain upon his tender mouth ; then commences 
a contest of skill at once in favor of the trout. 
Oh, how he docs pull ! and when he shoots across 
the rift the water hisses as it is cut hy the taut 
line that throws it into beautiful, sparkling spray. 
Again and again he breaks, leaping into the air, 
causing you to shout like a Modoc at every jump. 
Presently you succeed in securing a stone from 
the bottom of the creek, which is hurled with all 
your might below the place where the trout is 
strusrerlino:, causins; him to dart like an arrow 
directly up the stream, compelling a cpiickening 
of your pace in the same direction as you reel in 
the line as rapidly as your hasty steps will permit. 
Now he attempts to reach a pile of flood-wood, 
and sets your nerves tingling as he darts by, miss- 
ing one of its projecting slabs by oidy an inch. 



FLY-CASTING. 143 

Then he tries to plunge under an old stump that 
lies sprawling in the water, all of which praise- 
woi'thy efforts you skilfully frustrate. 

Presently he becomes tired, perhaps discour- 
aged ; his plunges grow less frequent, his side- 
long skips not so alarming, and then you are able 
to reel him within reach of your landing-net once 
more, where he lies upon the surface of the water 
and gives up the contest. You carefully slip the 
net under him and carry him gleefully to shore. 
Then it is that the hills are made to ring with 
your triumphant shouts that bring a like response 
from friends in camp, who run to meet you as 
you bear the trophy in. How you enjoy the tri- 
umph as the campers comment upon the beauty 
of the fish ! and with what joy you relate the in- 
cidents of his capture, while they all stand gazing 
upon his glittering sides 1 

Hamlin graciously acknowledged the defeat 
when he saw the splendid trout floundering in 
the net that Robert carried toward him. 

" Go to the head and stay there, doctor," was 
his quick reply. " I did not believe there was 
another trout like that between here and the 
slope wall, — he is a buster, that's a fact. Hold 
still, let us measure him !" 

" Fifteen inches plump, by George !" he ex- 
claimed, as he rose from applying the rule. 

In the evening the squire, who had heard of the 
capture, paddled up to camp, bringing scales to 



144 BODINES. 

take the fish's weight, which he announced to he 
" One pound and five ounces !" 

This Avould not he considered a large fish in 
the Adirondack or Maine woods region, hut upon 
a mountain-stream, where fishermen are almost 
as abundant as the trout they seek to capture, 
such an one is not to he sneezed at. 

We laid the splendid fellow out upon one of 
the camp-stools, spread out his bifurcated tail, 
extended his golden fins, and then traced his 
comely proportions with pen and ink, adding the 
vermilion spots, sketching his beautiful head, 
and dottins; the Grover & Baker stitch that ex- 
tended from gills to tail along the centre of his 
silver sides. Under him was lettered his length, 
w^eight, and date of capture ; the stool thus em- 
bellished has remained one of the choice pieces 
of furniture in the camp from that day. 




CHAPTER IX. 

VISITORS. 
Ladies, Babies, and Jim Crow. 

We were up briglit and early, that camp might 
be placed in the best of order for our expected 
visitors. After breakfast Robert and Charles 
made excursions up the mountain-road for fresh 
flowers. George scoured the tin-ware, washed 
tlie table-cloth and spread it upon the line to dry. 
Hamlin arrayed himself in his best clothes, 
put on a white shirt, hung a bright tin plate 
against the beech to do duty as a mirror, and pro- 
ceeded to scrape his face with a razor. Thad Jr. 
visited a farm-house near by for spring chickens 
and a fresh supply of milk; while George and I 
busied ourselves in preparing the dinner. By 
eleven o'clock our arrangements were complete, 
and we paddled the three boats down the pond 
to bring up the party. We were at the station 
but a few minutes when the whistle of the loco- 
motive announced the approach of the train, and 
as it came gliding around the curve, white hand- 
kerchiefs were fluttering from the windows of the 
car containing the merry excursionists. 

G " 13 ■ 145 



UG BODINEiS. 

Two short whistles from the engine signaled 
for the application of the air-brakes, Avhich were 
promptly applied, causing an involuntary obei- 
sance of the ladies, and throwing their gentlemen 
escorts into a huddle by the car door. Imme- 
diately baskets, gentlemen, and ladies presented 
themselves in regular order upon the platform, 
and were speedily helped to the ground. Before 
the campers had an opportunity to make the usual 
salutations of "How do you do?" — "Glad to 
see you" — "Fine day," etc., every member of that 
visiting party laughed immoderately, poked all 
sorts of fun at our attire, and blandly inquired 
whether dinner was ready. We tried to organize 
them into a quiet group that Charles might read 
the Avelcoming speech, that had been beautifully 
engrossed with charcoal, upon fourteen sheets of 
Harry- Green's best brown wrapping-paper, tied 
artistically with marline at the corners. But 
speech-making was out of the question to that 
noisy, merrj^, hungry party, so we directed the 
way to the boats by the old mill, and embarked 
them all safely upon the beautiful pond that led 
to the camp. The day was a perfect one, and the 
pond upon its good behavior, not a ripple disturb- 
ing the reflection of its charming surroundings. 
All the adjectives expressive of beauty or pleas- 
ure in the vocabulary were freely indulged in by 
the ladies, and emphasized by the gentlemen. 
Songs were sung, witty comments made, until 




OEOIJGK. 



[I'age U7.] 



VISITORS. 147 

the old hills rang with the merriment of the jolly 
sailors. 

As we neared the camp, Hamlin ran up the 
flag to the top of the pine, and exploded a dimin- 
utive fire-cracker as a salute. George was run- 
ning about as busy as a bee, while his neat white 
jacket and apron intensified the blackness of his 
happy face. Jim Crow sat upon his perch, plumed 
his jet wings, and cawed a welcoming note. Amid 
merry greetings, laughter, and cheers, the party 
safely landed, and were conducted to the parlor- 
tent to deposit baggage and lay off' superfluous 
Avraps. Scarcely had this been done ere George 
flailed his big frying-pan with an iron spoon, sum- 
moning the party to dinner. 

The table had been ingeniously extended by 
Robert and Charles, neatly covered with a white 
cloth, and literally loaded with the good things 
that came in the numerous baskets of the vis- 
itors. Loaves of cake, jars of preserves, dishes 
of head-cheese, pressed chicken, boiled tongue, 
deviled ham, baskets of berries, moulds of 
" Aviggle," crates of green peas and beans, 
bunch.es of fragrant onions, clusters of black 
Hamburg grapes, bread, biscuit, crackers, and 
numerous other and indescribable gastronomic 
delicacies adorned the table, toppled upon the 
camp-chests, hung suspended from the limbs of 
trees, and sat everywhere upon the ground. 

These added to George's fried trout, broiled 



US BODINES. 

spring chickens, mashed potatoes, stewed toma- 
toes, green peas, and excellent coffee, made a din- 
ner calculated to satisfy the cravings of any reas- 
onable or discriminating stomach. That dinner, 
with its loaves and fishes, was heroically attacked, 
— the hungry party satisfied, leaving the historical 
number of baskets remaining, from which the 
campers feasted to the end of the season. 

After dinner, excursions were made to various 
localities for flowers and ferns ; the baskets re- 
turning loaded with choice plants intended for 
transplantation in ferneries at home. Great 
bundles of laurels and rhododendrons were col- 
lected, behind which the fair gatherers could 
scarcely be seen as they carried them exultingly 
to camp. Boat-rides were indulged in upon the 
pond, walks taken up the creek, berries gathered 
by the way, bird-nests hunted for, laurel-roots 
secured, barefooted paddlings in the creek re- 
sorted to, until all became weary, late in the 
afternoon, from their incessant frolics, when they 
settled themselves into a group under the beech 
and elm for a rest before tea. Charles, ever on 
the alert to render some one more comfortable, 
took his sponge from its peg upon the tree, washed 
it thoroughly in the cool water of the creek, then 
wiped the face of every lady in camp, much to 
their amusement and comfort. The group was 
having a royal time chatting, punning, singing, 
and louno^ino: under the i2:rand old trees, until a 



VISITORS. 14:0 

modest little garter-snake came twining his way 
gracefully through the grass, putting some of the 
ladies to flight as quickly as though a crocodile 
had sought a luncheon among them. The hand- 
some fellow was picked up hy one courageous 
girl, laid away upon moss in the hottom of a glass 
jar, and carried home to ornament and enliven 
her fernery, where I saw it the following winter, 
as happy and contented as though in his native 
wilds, sporting in interminable summer. 

'' Ugh, see that ugly bug !" exclaimed one of 
the sensitive ones, as she gathered her skirts about 
her and retreated toward the tent. 

Charles picked it up, followed her, and pro- 
ceeded to deliver a lecture upon its beauty of 
color and form, and sprightliness of action, con- 
vincinsT her at last that it was not such a dread- 
ful creature after all. 

" Dear ! Oh, me ! see that caterpillar coming 
this way ! Why, I should think the bugs would set 
you wild down here, — they're perfectly horrid !" 
said another scamperer for the tent. 

" The buo-s are not more numerous here than 
at home," Charles observed. "Every flower, every 
plant in your garden has its vexatious little para- 
site. I have seen hump-backed caterpillars per- 
form their little trapeze acts overhead while 
swinging themselves gracefully within an inch of 
your nose, just as that fellow will do in a moment, 
now above your head. Great sprawling spiders 

10- 



150 BODINES. 

hop dextrousl y across your path, and escape to 
the nearest tree, from which to spin the webs 
that smear 3- our face with dew in the mornino^ 
walk. Green worms fall from the leaves above 
your head, vying with each other in attempts to 
drop upon your neck, where they play hide-and- 
seek up and down your spine. Many-legged 
worms go scampering about when the book is 
lifted from the arbor-table; and while reading, 
big black ants, w^inged and wingless, straggle 
over your hands, balance themselves on your 
hair, and, tickling your neck, you give them a flirt 
with pocket-handkerchief as you depart in dis- 
gust to the house. Microscopic flies dart into 
your eyes when riding, nearly blinding you with 
their acrid secretion. Flies light upon your fel- 
low's ears, scrambling over his bald head when 
at meals, while cockroaches tumble into the jam. 
Midges, those little vexatious imps of Satan, 
thrust their needle-pointed proboscides into your 
skin, and drink your blood unseen. When you 
w^rite, all sorts of moths and bugs dart at your 
light, then fall crippled and wingless upon the 
table, to dash across the paper and dot the i's for 
you as they go. By night mosquitoes fly through 
the screened windows, singing their diabolical 
tunes in your ears, making you w^eary wdth bran- 
dishing pillow or towel; and, as you sink ex- 
hausted upon the bed, pierce your quivering flesh 
with their blood-thirsty bills, then depart to the 



VISITORS. 151 

outer darkness singing tlieir hallelujahs to the 
waiting hosts to come; yet you call this place 
' buggy' !" 

" Come here, quick !" Robert cried, from the 
point of the island, where he stood with a snare 
in hand. " Come here, ladies, and I'll show you 
how to catch a sucker." 

Several drew near to watch Robert work the 
loop of the snare over the head of a monstrous 
fish that was lazily poking about in the deep 
water under the bank. At the proper moment 
the jerk was made, landing the astonished sucker 
flopping and wiggling at the feet of the specta- 
tors. The wire was readjusted for another victim, 
and while it was being moved toward the uncon- 
scious fish, a large water-snake came swimming 
toward the point with a chub in his mouth. The 
loop was immediately transferred to the new- 
comer, when he was landed upon shore likewise, 
still holdino: the struo-o-liiio; fish in his mouth. At 
sight of him the ladies all screamed and scam- 
pered, of course, while the gentlemen drew near 
to see how Robert would remove the snare from 
his forbidding catch. 

The ladies loudly demanded the Idlling of the 
reptile, and peeped through the folds of the tent 
to see what disposition w^as being made of him. 

" Shall I knock his head off, ladies ?" Charles 
asked. 

" Yes ! Oh, do !" came back in chorus. 



152 BODINES. 

Charles went to the tent, secured a hirge fire- 
cracker, which he thrust down the reptile's throat, 
allowing the fuse to protrude from his mouth. 
This was lighted, and his snakeship permitted to 
go free. He made directly up the slope toward 
tlie tent, at which there was another stampede. 
The fuse sparkled and spit fire, at which the snake 
blinked his eyes and seemed surprised. He held 
his head well up, however, travelling along, seem- 
ing quite content with his freedom. The sparks 
grew more numerous and brilliant, at which he 
turned his course toward the creek, thinking 
doubtless that he would reach the water and 
" put himself out." 

Before his design could be carried into execu- 
tion, however, he reached that climax himself, 
for the cracker exploded with a loud report, re- 
sulting in his complete decapitation. 

Tea w^as now announced to be in readiness, and 
all arranged themselves about the table with 
renewed appetites. Jollity reigned supreme, — 
jokes, pranks, and merry laughter interspersed 
the meal. This completed, the flowers and ferns 
were prepared for the homeward trip ; after which 
came the embarkation upon the pond, and the 
merry trip to the station amid the loud notes of 
the whip-poor-wills. Arriving there, it was an- 
nounced that a w^reck had occurred somewhere 
down the road, in consequence of which the train 
would be delayed, no one knew how many hours. 



VISITORS. 153 

A return to the camp was therefore recom- 
mended, with an offer of the large tent for the 
ladies' use, if they w^ould remain all night. They 
concluded, however, to go to Squire Bodine's, 
across the way, and there rest until the helated 
train should arrive. Ten o'clock came, \^dth no 
news from the train. Mrs. Bodine kindly offered 
beds to the ladies, that they might retire and rest ; 
but this offer was declined, as the train might 
come at any minute. The family therefore went 
to bed, leaving the lower part of the house in 
possession of the rioters. And such a rumpus as 
that party kept up until broad daylight may be 
imagined, but, Mrs. Bodine declares, never can 
be described. 

One of the ladies thought it necessary to apolo- 
gize to the hostess in the morning for the confu- 
sion that occurred during the night. 

" Indeed, I tried my best to keep them quiet, 
Mrs. Bodine," she said, " but they would not 
mind me." 

"Just so," was the reply; '^ now that I hear 
your voice, I recognize it as the noisiest one in 
the crowd last night." 

This declaration elicited a shout from the 
party, and- suspended further negotiations for 
peace. 

When the campers came down to the station 
in the morning, they were surprised to see the 
excursionists still there. Breakfast was eaten in 



15 J: BODINES. 

the farm-liouse, and all were assembled at tlie sta- 
tion, awaiting the coming of the train, which was 
reported to be on the way. 

At kist it did come, and the party Avas shipped 
to anxious friends at home, from whom humor- 
ous bulletins were received during the day, offer- 
ing fVibulous rewards for the discovery of the 
vrhereabouts and safe return of its members to 
their waiting families. And so ended a very 
pleasant visit from as happy a bevy of ladies as 
ever invaded a camp. 

The next train brought wife and children. A 
separate tent Avas provided for them, and the 
youngsters given free run of the grounds. 

I have seen men happy in the Avoods, but their 
abandon is not to be compared to that of the 
eight- and ten-year olds. They ran after butter- 
flies, chased the squirrels, set traps for Avood- 
chucks, fl.shed for suckers, built dams, tumbled 
in the Avater, constructed OA^ens in the sand, 
and duo* out the kins-flshers' nests in the bank. 
A busier lot of little mortals, from early morn- 
ing until late at night, Avas never seen. Skins 
grcAv broAvn, appetites quickened, and little bellies 
rounded, as the days flcAV b}^, bringing health and 
happiness to accompany their play. 

At night they were laid snugly aAvay in rude 
beds, where they slept more soundly than in their 
own at home. Baby, too, enjoyed the change, 
groAving strong and chubby from her out-door life. 



VISITORS. 155 

One night only, did she disturb the camp, as she 
had a riG:ht to do when sufferino; from coUc. Our 
haby is at the interesting age in which they are 
most prone to that troublesome complaint; and 
why all babies are made up with that exasper- 
ating accompaniment is a mystery beyond my 
ken. They all have it, though, crying, screaming, 
and kicking like fury, until you are driven to the 
verge of desperation, seeking means of relieving 
the pain and accompanying turmoil. 

Having a doctor in the house, we are spared 
the usual procedure of seeking him elsewhere; 
but the colic is just as bad as though his abiding- 
place were as remote as other folks' physician. 
ISow, I must confess, I never did know precisely 
what to do with a baby in colic, particular!}^ when 
that baby was my own ; although in my quiet 
moments, in the retirement of my study, I can 
give a visiting mother capital advice upon the 
management of a colicky infant, — provided she 
comes unaccompanied by the unfortunate child. 
But the moment that scream reaches your ear, 
and the upturned heels of the baby perchance 
carom upon your nose, while mother, aunty, and 
grandma are administering peppermint, pare- 
goric, catnip tea, camphor water, and hot fomen- 
tations, you become so confused and perplexed 
with the excitement incident to the occasion that 
you are in doubt whether any further interfer- 
ence in the case can be of the slightest avail, or 



156 BODINES. 

whether, in fact, any room could be found in 
baby's stomach (or anywhere about its person, 
for that matter) admissible of any scientific at- 
tack upon the malady. 

Then, how wondrously strange it is that all 
babies should have a special hour for this gymnas- 
tic exercise ! I say all, because fathers agree, with 
remarkable unanimity, that four o'clock, ante-me- 
ridian, is the precise moment of the attack. Why 
it could not as well occur at four, post-meridian, 
or even at ten, is a question worthy the serious 
consideration of the gynaecological society. 

That early hour in the morning is always cer- 
tain to catch a fellow napping, when to turn him 
out in search of the paregoric bottle (which by 
an unaccountable oversight is left in some incon- 
venient nook in the dining-room, in stumbling 
toward which his unprotected ankles come in 
collision with sundry projecting rockers that 
abrade the cuticle, bringing tears to his eyes and 
psalms to his lips) is anything but a desirable 
diversion. Sometimes the experiment of rocking 
the baby in bed is attempted, the anxious mother 
converting her person into a cradle, bobbing up 
and down upon the spring-bed like a rubber 
ball. This soothing process acts admirably upon 
the child, but is slightly perplexing to the sleepy 
father. It tends to shatter his confidence in the 
law of gravitation, particularly when the mother 
of the child is of considerably more pounds 



VISITORS. 157 

avoirdupois than he is, which circumstance pro- 
duces a strange effect from the rocking process ; 
for when they go down, somehow he goes up, 
and the uncertainty of alighting always in the 
same spot is so noteworthy, as to establish in his 
mind more thoughts of his own comfort and 
safety than for that of the blessed baby. 

" Oh, papa, papa, see here what a funny mouse 
I've caught !" exclaimed Fritz, running toward 
me, holding a small, wiggling animal by the tail. 
" See what a funny nose he's got, — looks like a 
China-aster on the end of it." Then turning to- 
ward his older brother, he added, — 

" Just lookee here. Way; isn't this a boss nose, 
though ? Golly ! guess he can smell lots when he 
wants to." 

The two boys sat upon the sand plotting a des- 
tiny for their newly-found acquisition (a star- 
nosed mole). Fritz thought he would be safer in 
a fruit-jar, while Way suggested the building of a 
cage. 

" Oh, gracious !" Fritz said. "When we get him 
home we'll put him in the cage with the canary. 
I'll just bet he'll make it lively. Won't he stir 
the old bird up, though ? You better believe he 
will !" 

"Let's see what Jim Crow will say to him," 

Way suggested; then, tied the mole to a stick by 

the tail, and held him aloft for the inspection of 

the bird. 

14 



158 BODINES. 

Jim did not fancy the squirming, wriggling 
animal, and stepped gravely to the far end of his 
perch as the hoys moved it toward him. The 
mole was hrought nearer and nearer his face, at 
which Jim set up a wild cry of terror, smnging 
under his perch by one foot and striking at the 
mole with the other, now and then flopping a 
wing at it with a force sufficient to annihilate the 
little animal. At last the mole grasped the crow 
upon the back, held on desperately with his flip- 
pers and claws, at which Jim gave sundry fright- 
ened screeches, and flew from the perch carrying 
the mole with him. The string which held the 
animal slipped from the tail, leaving him to 
scramble over the terrified crow, throwing liim 
into most wonderful contortions of body, and 
eliciting some very queer sounds of disapproval 
at the proceeding. At this the boys screamed 
with merriment, which only frightened the crow 
the more, until in one of his gymnastic feats in 
mid-air he tumbled to the ground, leaving the 
poor mole to escape under the loose sand. 

Jim is a queer bird, and has furnished the 
boys endless amusement. The odd manoeuvres 
to which he is addicted challenge our respect for 
his intelligence, if not our entire approval of his 
pranks. He came to us at a tender age, when 
quite incapable of supporting himself; indeed, 
he had not yet been weaned, and his affectionate 
mother parted from him mth great demonstra- 



VISITORS. 159 

tions of grief. Jim, however, did not seem to 
share in the apprehensions of his anxious parent, 
but came to us gleefully, particularly when we 
offered him a living " shiner" as a retainer, and 
which, we regret to chronicle, he swallowed with- 
out the least compunction of conscience. His 
favorite position is upon a perch that looks in 
upon our dining-room, where he watches for an 
opportunity to pilfer from the table when George's 
back is turned. 

One day he tried to unravel the mystery of the 
construction of Fritz's straw hat, and from the 
fragments strewn around I concluded his success 
to be something remarkable. lie is a great lover 
of curiosities, — a regular connoisseur, in fact, in 
his admiration for oddities. Near him lay the 
baby's last doll, with one of its beautiful blue 
eyes ruthlessly picked from its socket, while a 
ghastly rent in its square abdomen, from which 
the sawdust was falling, exhibited his desire for 
a knowledge of anatomy. On the rough bark of 
a tree he fastened a particle of meat, saved from 
his last repast, which he intently watched ; and, 
as the large black ants attempted to make their 
way toward it, he adroitly made cripples of them 
all, while he watched their bobbing about with 
the satisfaction of a manufacturer of apparatus 
for the deformed. Jim soon became installed 
the favorite of the camp. He was talked to and 
petted like a precocious child. When camp was 



160 BODINES. 

broken, he was the most conspicuous object, as he 
sat perched upon the load of baggage that floated 
down the pond upon the flatboat. He enjoyed 
the long ride home, soon became familiar with 
his new quarters, but at last succumbed to his own 
indiscretion. Poor Jim ! we sorrow for him even 
now, as we look from our study window and see 
his vacant perch, where three short months ago 
he afforded us amusement and entertainment by 
his comical antics. Such a versatile and intelli- 
gent creature was he that I doubt not ere this, if 
his capabilities are properly appreciated, he has 
become a blackfaced chimpanzee, or perhaps a 
Congo baby, according to the Darwinian theory. 
But wherever Jim may be located in the spirit 
world, or whatever his metamorphosis, he is 
wished a genuine success, while his tail-feathers 
are carefully retained in affectionate memory of 
the jolliest and funniest of crows. 




CHAPTER X. 

A CHAT WITH CHARLES. 
On Dyspepsia, Horseback, and Philosophy. 

^' I'm afraid that dinner was too much for me," 
Charles remarked, after lighting his cigar and 
mounting the hammock. ' ' I wish I could eat as 
other folks do, without suffering from it after- 
ward." 

'' Well, it is a trial to be a dyspeptic, — a con- 
stant trial. You are sick if you eat, and eat if 
you are sick, and for the life of you cannot tell 
under which formula you are best-conditioned. 
Let your diet be strictly after the Graham bis- 
cuit and mush order (stuff no more digestible 
than so much sand, I desire to observe), and your 
head, in company with your stomach, will ache 
like fury all next day. Partake of terrapin and 
champagne for supper to appease your famish- 
ing appetite, and quite as likely as not you will 
feel like a fighting- cock for a week to come, 
only to be thrown into a headache at the very 
next attempt of that sort. So you are perplexed 
and annoyed to determine when and what to 
eat. When a fellow is quite as much sick when he 

14* 161 



162 BODINES. 

'takes care of himself (living upon starvation 
diet, partaking of oatmeal, beef tea, and similar 
slops) as when he goes in for a real hearty dinner 
of roast beef and accessories, what in the name 
of common sense is he to do ? It is a trite say- 
ing, but somewhat applicable in this case, — 'You 
might as well die for a sheep as a lamb,' and 
surely why not? 

" The trials of the dyspeptic are sometimes 
funny as well as distressing. It is amusing to see 
him sit in his easy-chair after a moderate supper, 
feel his pulse, and every time his heart gives a 
skip, his eyes give a blink, his thoughts a sum- 
mersault, and his tongue an expression which be- 
comes intelligible in ' heart disease.' Every 
time that heart skips its owner does likewise, 
until he brings up in the physician's office and 
at once demands an examination of that mys- 
terious organ. He tells the doctor he knows he 
has ' heart disease' ; and if he has, he don't want 
to be told so, but to keep it sort of quiet, — to 
himself, as it were. When the physician declares 
it to be only a functional disturbance, the result 
of indigestion, he does not believe a word of it, 
but goes straightway home, makes his will, gives^ 
a few parting instructions to his wife, then seeks 
his bed, but sits bolt upright, with fingers upon 
his pulse, calmly awaiting his end. But it never 
comes ! Then he resorts to digitalis, — takes from 
ten to fifteen drops twice a day, until his heart 



A CHAT WITH CHARLES. 103 

becomes so slow and confoundedly regular as to 
be monotonous, not to say annoying. lie there- 
fore concludes to hurry it up a trifle with a stim- 
ulant, because he does not want it to stop entirely, 
you know. Takes brandy, — tastes good — touches 
the spot, — has some more ; and wakes up in the 
morning with a pain in his stomach and a worse 
one in his head. Suddenly a twinge under his 
shoulder manifests itself That smacks of con- 
sumption, and forthwith he has his lungs exam- 
ined : cod-liver oil three times daily is at once 
recommended. In a day or two, in prospecting 
for new symptoms, a pain is struck in the small 
of his back, — that hints at Bright's disease, and 
argues loudly for a microscopic examination of 
the secretions : therefore citrate of potash and 
lemon-juice must be taken. Scarcely are these 
pains analyzed and classified ere an ache has been 
developed under the short ribs, — ' liver complaint' 
is at once suggested, and pellets of podophyllin 
indulged in nightly. A day or two after, his legs 
and back keep company in an awful ache every 
time a refreshing blast of air sweeps through his 
apartment : plainly, this is a cold, and that it 
may not ' settle on his lungs,' ginger tea and an 
alcohol sweat is imperatively demanded. So he 
fumes and sweats for a day or two longer, when 
an ailing neighbor, who has just been relieved 
(or thinks he has, which is much the same, after 
all) of a ninety-feet tape-worm, drops in for a 



164 BODINES. 

lively chat. This brings him to the inevitable, — 
a tape-worm, and that is the sum of all misery. 
To have three or four hundred feet of that jointed, 
squirming creature fastened on to the mucous 
membrane of his entire alimentary canal is a 
condition not to be tolerated for an instant; 
therefore pumpkin-seed tea and castor oil is 
swallowed in heroic and oft-repeated doses, until 
two of him is required to cast a decent shadow. 
As the remedies increase so do the ' symptoms,' 
until it becomes far easier to enumerate the aches 
and pains that are not apparent than those that 
are. 

" These are a few of the trials and perplexities 
that beset the way of the dyspeptic. They are 
mournful, yet comical, but always render the pos- 
sessor entitled to the sympathy and indulgence 
of his friends. The dyspeptic is an unmitigated 
nuisance in society, but never tell him so; poor 
fellow, he is about as miserable as he can be. 
While you enjoy your hearty meal, he sits by and 
nibbles at a Graham cracker or sips oatmeal por- 
ridge. While you are constructing rings from 
your fragrant Havana, he bolts for fresh air and 
some digester for his frugal meal. Well, what 
of it ? Oh, nothing in particular ; only if a vast 
majority of dyspeptics would cease from drink- 
ing slops and chewing dry, hard, unnourishable 
crackers and the like, and eat three wholesome 
but moderate meals a day, consisting of rare 



A CHAT WITH CHARLES. 1G5 

roast-beef, eggs, milk, and other nourishing 
foods, they would be much better off and have 
fewer reasons for complaint. It is my deliberate 
opinion that a stomach that can digest oatmeal, 
cracked wheat, Graham mush, and like irritating 
and senseless stuff, can far more easily dispose of 
the more nutritious foods mentioned, because of 
their being infinitely easier of digestion and as- 
similation. In a word, cease making your stom- 
ach a receptacle for slops, and begin the eating 
of wholesome food, at seasonable hours and in 
moderate quantities." 

" Why, I supposed that oatmeal and Graham 
mush made the best sort of a diet for dyspeptics ; 
consequently I indulged in them very freely when, 
in former years, I was closely confined to business 
and a bad stomach. But I broke down completely 
at last, and had to resort to out-door exercise. I 
went to Long Beach, rowed in a boat, trolled for 
bluefish, and sailed in the bay until I could eat 
almost anything Captain Bond placed upon his 
table; and I do believe, now that you mention it, 
starvation diet of oatmeal and so forth did as 
much as anything to use me up." 

" How much of your time did you give to the 
bank during every day, Charles ?" 

"For just seventeen years I devoted fifteen 
hours every day to the work on my desk, resting 
but one hour in the middle of the day for a 
hastily-eaten luncheon." 



166 BODINES. 

^'And after your strength gave way, your 
stomach refusing to perform its function longer, 
tried to render it contented on gritty slops, eh?" 

" That is what I did ; under medical advice, 
though. IS'ow, what would you have prescribed 
under the circumstances ?" 

" Precisely what you were sensible enough to 
adopt yourself. Out-door exercise and consider- 
ably less work at the desk. If the season was 
unfavorable for camping out, then I should have 
recommended horseback exercise; one that seems 
to have been provided on purpose for those suf- 
fering from indigestion. Very numerous have 
been the devices and inventions of man to afford 
his fellow the requisite amount of exercise to 
keep him physically sound. So many people 
nowadays strive to live by their wits, — using 
their brains more than they do their hands and 
legs, — that we have degenerated into a nation of 
dyspeptics, which circumstance has called forth 
the inventive genius of the brain-workers for the 
production of machinery that will afford us that 
exercise of muscle without which humanity can- 
not be run to its possible attainments, and be free 
from the pains and aches for the subjugation of 
which the army of doctors is yearly employed. 

" These inventions have taken form in the 
' health-lifts,' pocket gymnasiums, dumb-bells, 
Indian-clubs, and a multiplicity of other contriv- 
ances, none of which can at all equal a half-hour 



A CHAT WITH CHARLES. 1G7 

engagement witli a buck-saw, or a morning walk 
of a mile or so. 

" To make gymnastics effective, they must 
shape themselves toward some definite object to 
be attained, beyond the single one of securing 
simply and solely the exercise. When a man 
takes hold of the handles of a lifting-machine and 
pulls until he is blue in the face, and then fondly 
imagines he has been benefiting his muscular sys- 
tem, he is grossly mistaken, — nothing of the kind 
has been done. Indeed, I have seen more injury 
result from tliat sort of thing than good. Exercise, 
to be beneficial, should be conducted in the open 
air, where proper artcrialization of the blood is 
induced through the pure oxygen taken in at the 
lungs, which should be correspondingly stimu- 
lated to action with that of the nmscular system. 
Then you have immediate repair of the waste 
which naturally occurs from muscular activity. 

'' Nothing so fully meets the requirements of 
a sluggish circulation, weak digestion, and Habby, 
inactive muscles as horseback-riding. All the in- 
ventive talent of the brain-workers in the universe 
combined is not equal to the production of a ma- 
chine that will so thoroughly exercise and shake 
up every muscle and organ entering into the con- 
struction of physical man as a good square ride 
for a mile or two upon a trotting horse ! Try it 
just once and see ! Start out some bright spring 
morning, when the air is pure and clear, when 



1(38 BODINES. 

all nature is struggling to reveal her charms, and 
so entice you to the trial and to an observation 
of her budding beauties. Ride to the nearest hill- 
top, and when you reach the level i)lain beyond, 
venture upon a burst of speed to try the qualities 
of your trotter. He will enjoy it, never fear, 
and cause you to bob about upon that saddle like 
a jumping-jack on a stick. Come in at the end 
of an hour, and take an inventory of your pains, 
aches, and sore places. If there exists a square 
inch anywhere upon the surface of your body, 
from your glutei maximi, up or down, that fails to 
bring a report of duty well performed, as indicated 
by tenderness to touch ; or if you do not realize 
that the construction of your body is wonderful, 
not to say peculiar, in the multiplicity of its 
organs that before were undiscovered by you, 
then has your ride been a miserable failure, else 
are you not in need of manual labor or exercise. 

" The first time I took this prescription myself 
I was prepared to dispute the best works upon 
anatomy and physiology extant, and could show 
to any man given to investigations of this char- 
acter some queer features in my own anatomical 
development. Mounting one of my trotting 
steeds, I essayed the even road of the driving- 
park, to the end that the first attempt might be 
smooth and easy of accomplishment. 

" I started on a brisk trot. The mare had been 
there before, and thought speed was required of 



A CHAT WITH CHARLES. 169 

her on that particular occasion, and the little 
beast surpassed my wildest expectations of her 
capabilities in that direction. At the quarter 
pole, I was convinced that ray upper jaw was 
constructed to close upon the under one, instead 
of vice versa; that the left lung was suspended 
from my shoulder-blade by a slender cord, that 
snapped a second later and let the w^hole con- 
founded thing fall into my belly. At the half- 
mile, the liver, stomach, and other viscera had 
settled into the saddle, so that every time I sat 
down upon them it did seem as though they 
would be crowded into my boots. At the three- 
quarter pole, I became conscious of chafing the 
saddle fearfully, w^hile the perspiration ran in 
rivulets down my back, until it reached what 
Shorty calls the ' crupper-bone,' where it bifur- 
cated and passed down each leg into my boots, 
while my face, in color, resembled the setting 
sun. Hot ! Goodness ! a boiled lobster was no 
circumstance to my heated condition ! But as I 
came down that home-stretch, I was amazed at 
the incomprehensible manner in which my legs 
and arms were swivelled to my body. Legs, that 
aforetime had done good service upon many a 
trout-stream, now dangled helplessly on either 
side of the saddle, while the liberated stirrups 
flailed the steed to greater efforts of speed. Arms 
played up and down helplessly, obeying every 
motion of the animal, while my spine seemed 

H 15 



170 BODINES. 

distorted into an anterior-posterior curvature, that 
brought my head on a level with the watch- 
pocket. At this juncture, thanks to a kind friend, 
the wild flight of the gallant mare was arrested 
and I was carefully lifted to the ground. To this 
day I cannot for the life of me determine how 
that confounded saddle touched every available 
spot of my body. Every nmscle was tangled 
with its neighbor, every organ unshipped, and for 
the remainder of the week my meals were taken 
from the buffet, in silence, and standing. But 
that very ride made a convert of me, for I found 
that if exercise was what was needed I got it, — 
lots of it, too; and knowing what I do about 
that style of gymnastics, I unhesitatingly recom- 
mend the trotting horse as the only successful 
exercising-machine in existence, answering all 
the requirements of the dyspeptic. 

" When you come to try it, get up in the morn- 
ing and dress for the occasion, with heavy flan- 
nels to absorb perspiration ; jacket, stout trousers, 
long boots, and a light silk cap. Take breakfast 
before starting, — never ride with an empty stom- 
ach; then mount your horse, and take it mod- 
erately. Ride a trotter if you would secure the 
full advantage of horseback exercise. After an 
hour dismount, and subject yourself to a good 
rubbing with a crash towel, and change your 
flannels for fresh and dry ones. After a week 
you will be able to take long excursions to the 



A CHAT WITH CHARLES. I7I 

liills, and enjoy the pure, clear air and glorious 
sunshine, while now and then you may stop to 
admire the landscape, or pluck some wild-flowers 
to adorn your desk at the office. Have a com- 
panion go with you, if possible, for then is the 
pleasure enhanced many fold. Ride every morn- 
ing, rain or shine, if you would have the full 
benefit of this prescription. So many sit upon a 
cushioned chair, bewailing their lame and sore 
condition after a hard day's ride, that it becomes 
difficult to get them out again. The treatment 
must be continuous that its efficacy may reach 
the maximum degree. I^o matter how stormy, 
cold, or hot it may be, or how little you feel like 
undertaking it, do not miss your morning ride 
under any circumstances. A half-hour in the 
saddle will put to flight all unpleasant reflections ; 
the sore places will not be felt ; and if you are 
suitably protected with rubber clothing, you will 
be surprised to see how very enjoyable even a 
ride in the rain is. Chandler and I had both fol- 
lowed up horseback-riding most faithfully until 
the day we arrived in this camp. We can testify 
to its efficacy in our improved digestion, and to 
its pleasures by asserting that we mean to resume 
it again upon the first morning that we reach 
home." 

" Does your life here in camp do you as much 
good as your horseback exercise ?" 

" Yes ; I think it does. It is the relief from 



17 2 BODINES. 

office-work, the complete abandonment of all 
business cares, and the devotion of your time to 
pleasant pursuits, that aid you in procuring the 
needed rest and assist the stomach to resume its 
function. Then, you perceive, we walk many 
miles every da}^, while the constant throwing of 
the flies gives ample exercise to arms, wrists, and 
chest." 

" I think there's something in the air here that 
increases the appetite. I seem to grow hungry 
the moment I strike this island." 

"Doubtless you do, Charles. Although you 
walk over considerable territory every day in 
Brooklyn, and have thrown ofl:'the cares of busi- 
ness like a wise man, now that you can aflbrd so 
to do, yet you lack the fresh balsamic air of the 
mountains to put health and vigor in your step 
and an appetite in the stomach. There is some- 
thing very exhilarating and appetizing in this 
out-door life." 

" That is very evident," he replied ; then con- 
tinued, " I do not wonder that the primitive man 
lived to be several hundred years old. He abode in 
tents then, as we are doing here in camp. Lived 
upon fish and game captured by his own prowess, 
attbrding food and fascinating exercise at one and 
the same time. He was not confined within-doors, 
in furnace-heated apartments, for eight months 
in the year, nor troubled and perplexed how to 
meet a note in bank or satisfy a mortgage on his 



A CHAT WITH CHARLES. 1Y3 

homestead ; neither did he sit still, in a cramped 
position over a desk, until his tingers and brain 
became weary with toil, while his stomach refused 
to digest the hastily-eaten meal. Not he. Fortu- 
nately for him, his habits and wants were far more 
simple. To be sure, now and then he seemed to 
be imbued with a desire for a little exciting ex- 
ercise, and, instead of swinging an Indian-club 
above his head for an hour or two, he would 
simply grasp the jawbone of an ass and knock the 
heads off a few hundred persons one fine morn- 
ing before breakfast. That, you must admit, is 
exercising one's muscle to some purpose ; there's 
a spirit in it that I like ; it betokens strength of 
muscle, a quick eye, and a strong jawbone. I 
don't wonder, now I think of it, that those prim- 
itive chaps flourished to so great an age. They 
must have had a real jolly life of it, and supped 
the while on the fat of the land. Don't you thmk 
we would live longer and be happier if we aban- 
doned our houses and dwelt in the woods, as they 

did?" 

"Live longer and more healthfully, doubtless; 
but as to happiness, I cannot say. A civilized 
life is full of pleasure, you know, Charles, even 
if it is a short one. After all, I think we attain 
as great an age as did our ancestors, when we 
lake into consideration our means of travel, the 
telegraph, telephone, phonograph, and the num- 
erous and increasing scientific inventions that are 

15* 



174 BO DINES. 

daily multiplying to annihilate time and space. 
Then the pleasures obtained from the arts, litera- 
ture, and our social intercourse, perhaps more 
than compensate for the years stricken from our 
life's expectancy." 

" Well, I- don't know about that. I was at the 
Zoological Garden before I left home, and over- 
heard a seedy-looking chap make this observa- 
tion, while intently gazing at the giraffe, — 

" '■ Lord, Bob ! wouldn't you like to have a neck 
like that when you take your whisky cocktail ? 
Glory ! you'd get a taste of it such a long ways 
down !' 

'' That remark amused me, and is somewhat 
applicable to this case. I wonder whether I 
wouldn't like to live longer, feel better, and know 
less ! I think I might enjoy myself here, in these 
comfortable quarters, for an indefinite period, 
particularly if I could catch as many trout as 
you skilled fly-fishermen do." 

" Your contentment would not be lasting, 
Charles. It is the keen pursuit of business, or 
the arduous and perplexing calling of the pro- 
fessional man, that renders the perfect enjoyment 
of such a rest as this possible and desirable. 
Could we remain here for a year, I doubt not we 
would be heartily tired of it, and never care to 
cast a fly nor see a camp again, l^o ; as we are 
apt to seek our opposites in temperament for 
companions, so do we seek rest, recreation, and 



^^^ CHAT WITH CHARLES. I75 

pleasure in descending from the haunts and cus- 
toms of civilization to those of primitive man. 
I have philosophized some over that peculiar 
trait in our nature, trying to analyze it ; the near- 
est approach to a solution I can reach is, that we 
are living under a constant restraint; we are 
forced into decorum and good deportment he- 
cause of the conventionalities of society; we are 
polite, urhane, and graceful to our fellows he- 
cause of the rigid training we have received from 
our parents and others. I really do not helieve 
our present status is a natural one. Were not a 
strict watch and training kept over us, I douht 
not we would gradually gravitate to the customs 
and hahits of the aborigines. Therefore, in 
coming to these wilds, throwing off the restraints 
of society, we hut follow a natural inclination ; 
hence the satisfaction in its gratification." 

" I suspect you're right. I notice the natives 
here care but little for trout-fishing when it can- 
not be made remunerative, but get much pleasure 
from a visit to the city, whence we have just 
escaped with so much thankfulness. How fortu- 
nate it is we do not all have the same desires or 
inclinations ! I sometimes think, even now, there 
are too many bankers in existence, while you 
doubtless think the same of doctors. Bless me, 
what a time we would have if every youngster 
should choose one or the other of these pursuits." 

'' I conclude (following up your argument to 



176 BODINES. 

its natural termination) that yoii consiaer men 
honest and law-abidino; throuo:h fear of social 
ostracism or of the prison." 

** Precisely. I know that is not a popular view 
to take of the case, but here in the woods, we can 
express our opinions somewhat freely. I think 
two-thirds of the human species are kept in 
abeyance — forced to respect the dictates of polite 
society — through fear of suffering socially or phys- 
ically. But I'm not quite sure to which circum- 
stance the credit of a peaceful and law-abiding 
community belongs : whether it is by reason of 
man's susceptibility to spiritual impressions, caus- 
ing his gradual advancement toward refinement, 
or from the wise administration of wholesome 
laws. But of one thing we are sure : set him 
loose in the woods where all restraint is removed, 
and he will be as happy as a lark." 

"What the deuce have you fellows found to 
talk about in this lively manner for the past two 
hours?" Hamlin inquired, as he emerged from 
the tent, where he had been taking a nap since 
dinner. " Every time I woke, I heard you still 
chatting away in the most animated strain." 

" Come, it must be time to go up-stream," he 
continued. " Tliad went some time ago. I've 
got a rouser marked down, and want to see you 
take him." 

" Charles, Hamlin is the only fisherman I ever 
met that can look up a fine trout, and wait for a 



I 



A CHAT WITH CHARLES. 



177 



friend to come and pick him out. Last season, he 
waited at the high bank two hours for me to 
cast for a pounder that he had raised there. 
When I came upon the scene, he pointed out the 
spot and insisted upon my capturing him, which 
I did to his evident delight and satisfaction. 
I must confess tliat to do an act of this kind 
requires considerable self-sacrifice, although in 
his case it seems to be a downright pleasure." 

" While you are gone," said Charles, " guess 
I'll get in another back-log for the camp-fire to- 
night. The large one Robert and I hustled up 
the bank the other day is nearly burned in two." 

" All right, Charles ; if you enjoy that sort of 
fun, may good luck attend your endeavors. We 
will not be in until late, so do not hurry supper." 



II* 




CHAPTER XL 

RAINY DAYS. 

Rifle-Practice — Thunder-Storm — A Puppy — Poetry — And a 

Woodchuck. 

^' Rain ! rain ! rain ! Will it never stop ?" 
Hamlin queried, as he stood at the flies of the 
tent gazing heavenward to catch a glimpse of the 
fleeting clouds. " This is the fourth day of the 
confounded storm, and I'm growing tired of it. 
The creek will be bank-full by morning, and then 
no more fishing for three days to come. This is 
the most contemptible weather we have ever en- 
countered here," he added, and seated himself in 
the barrel chair, covered his legs with a robe, and 
placed his feet upon the top of the underground 
fnrnace, while vexation appeared upon every line 
of his face. 

" What can we do to-day ? I'm tired of read- 
ing." 

"Suppose we set a trap for the woodchuck ; 
burn down the old stub ; catch a flying-squirrel ; 
deodorize a skunk; or sit out upon the bank 
and watch the thunder-storm play upon the tops 
of the mountains ; no end of sport for such a day 
as this," was suggested. 
178 



RAINY DAYS. I79 

"Let's trap the woodchuck." 

" Agreed !" 

A steel trap was set in the entrance to the ani- 
mal's residence; the chain fastened to a stake, 
all traces of which were carefully concealed by a 
sprinkling of sand, and then we retired to await 
the issue. 

In the mean time, our clerical friend (who had 
arrived in the morning, to take the place of a 
camper called home) desired to try his skill with 
a rifle. Accordingly, he took position on the 
hank while I went above and tossed empty beer- 
bottles into the rapid. As they went bobbing by 
him, he knocked their necks ofi:", sinking them 
to the bottom. After a dozen or so had been 
broken in this manner, he requested that one be 
placed on a stick, one hundred and fifty paces 
away. This done, he deliberately knocked that 
bottle into a cocked hat, then coolly inquired, — 

" How's that ?" 

" Well done, sir ; think we can match you 
against Dr. Carver if you continue shooting in 
that manner." 

'^ Oh, that's nothing extraordinary ; I can do 
better than that. See the blackbird on the tree- 
top, yonder ?'' 

" I do. Can't hit him, can you ?" 

" See." 

Crack went the rifle and down came the bird, 
body first, head following. 



180 BODINES. 

" That will do, sir ; I see you can shoot as ac- 
curately with a rifle as with your sermons. ITow, 
I must see you cast a fly, and if you do it as well, 
I can promise you fine sport to-day, notwithstand- 
ing the rain ; for see, the creek is not yet roiled 
much, and by going up Pleasant Stream we shall 
probably find it entirely clear, for no cultivated 
grounds lie along its banks to shed their muddy 
water into the creek." 

'^ Very good ; I will accompany you." 

John Bodine w^as at once summoned to bring 
horses and wagon up the mountain-road, while 
we made ready for the trip. The lunch-box on 
my creel was provisioned, the tea-kettle strung 
upon its strap, the tea and sugar pouches replen- 
ished ; then, with capes over our shoulders and 
rods in hand, we climbed the otter-slide and path 
beyond to the mountain-road. There we found 
John in waiting, who soon carried us to Hunter's 
mill and left us. 

The stream was clear but high, and the trout 
sufficiently plenty to afford considerable sport, so 
that we fished down the stream to its mouth, 
there making a halt for dinner. Wood was gath- 
ered, dry kindlings whittled from a fragment of 
board found under a sheltering bank, but when 
I came to apply the match, behold ! my match- 
box was filled with water ! I had waded so deep 
as to have submerged it. I called to the preacher 
for the article needed, when he felt in his trous- 



RAINY DAYS. 181 

ers-pockets, held up his box and poured the 
water from it also. This was a provoking state 
of affairs for two hungry men in need of a din- 
ner. My companion volunteered to go to a farm- 
house near by and bring some matches, while 1 
prepared the trout for the roast. Soon after his 
departure the sun shone out, quickly drying the 
rocks, upon which I spread the wet matches. In 
a few minutes they were quite dry, enabling me 
to light the tire. After a while the preacher re- 
turned, appearing upon the opposite bank with a 
broad smile upon his face. 

" What tickles you?" I inquired. 

" My interview with the woman at the house," 
he replied; tlien entering the stream to cross 
over to where I stood, gained the middle, stood 
still to laugh ; in doing which he lost his foot- 
hold in the swift water, cutting his merriment 
short and bringing himself stumbling upon the 
shore. He then stood his rod against a bush, 
unhooked his creel, hung it upon a stub, and 
seated himself to finish the interrupted laugh. 

" Do tell me what is the fun ?" 

" When I knocked at the door of the house, 
out yonder," he replied, " a woman answered my 
signal, looking quite frightened the moment she 
had a glimpse of me. She was about to shut the 
door in my face, when I quickly made my wants 
known. At this, she shyly reopened the door, 
looked at me from head to foot, then went laugh- 

16 



182 BODINES. 



ingly to supply my wants. Taking some matches 
from a clock, she handed them to me, and smil- 
ingly said, — 

" 'When I heard you talk, I thought you were 
a gentleman ; hut when I saw your pants, I didn't 
know !' 

" Now what do you honestly think, — had I 
better swap my trousers for another pair or face 
it out ?" 

" Well, I do not wonder the poor woman took 
you for a tramp after inspecting those breeches ; 
for a worse-looking pair is not often encountered 
on these streams. I really believe Shorty, even, 
would take fright at them and give you the cold 
shoulder." 

" Well, how is dinner progressing ? I see your 
fire has settled into a fine bed of coals." 

" The water is boiling, ready for tea-making; 
the trout will be done in just five minutes ; I will 
put the tea in to steep while you spread our 
lunch upon the flat stones I have arranged upon 
the log there; and if you want to cook those egg^ 
you are holding in your hands, just wrap each 
one in several thicknesses of newspaper, wet 
thoroughly, and cover in the hot coals ; let them 
remain from three to five minutes, and they will 
be done soft or hard, as you like." 

The clouds were now gathering in threaten- 
ing blackness ; the thunder rolling and reverber- 
ating among the mountain-peaks urging us to the 



,es W 



RAINY DAYS. 183 

repast if we would have it dry. Consequently 
the trout were at once taken from the coals, ex- 
cellently done ; the eggs ditto, while the tea was 
strong and steaming hot. We set the pot in the 
creek to cool while we sampled the fish. They 
proved to he unapproachahle as a savory morsel, 
eliciting our approbation of the process of cook- 
ing for the hundredth time at least. While we 
were eating, the great black clouds came rolling 
over the mountain, and the zigzag flashes of 
lightning blinded us with dazzling brightness. 
I^oarer and nearer came the storm that seemed 
to ascend the mountain from the opposite side, 
then rolled into the valley, an interminable 
mass of swirling blackness. A terrific peal of 
thunder burst above our heads, and, before it 
rolled away, echoing from hill to hill, another 
followed with increased fury, adding its terri- 
ble crash and roar to that of the approaching 
storm. We saw the great trees upon the moun- 
tains bending under the wiiid that snapped the 
limbs from the willows and laid the alders pros- 
trate on the bank. Then the rain fell in torrents, 
cutting the leaves from the trees to be driven far 
down the valley before the furious wind. Soon, 
the rain reached the creek, lashing it into a boil- 
ing mass, that seemed like liquid fire under the 
illumination of the vivid lightning. It was now 
almost as dark as night ; and, as we stood by the 
creek, shielded from the rain by our rubber capes, 



X84 BODINES. 

the scene was one to be enjoyed or feared, in ac- 
cordance with the mood of the spectator. We 
looked silently on, watching the storm as it swept 
down the valley toward the camp. Flash after 
flash of lightning led the way, while most terrific 
thunder crashed in quick succession. 

" Oh, how that w^ould have stirred up Dixey !" 
I remarked, as a tremendous thunderbolt burst 
just above our camp-grounds. 

"Why, does he dread the lightning?" my 
friend asked. 

" Dread it ! That word but feebly expresses 
his sentiments toward an entertainment of this 
character. I doubt whether he can frame a sen- 
tence himself expressive of his feelings upon an 
occasion like this. Last season, he and another 
camper were lively competitors for the possession 
of a large Saratoga trunk in which we brought 
our bedclothes to camp. Every thunder-storm 
found one or the other of them inside the trunk, 
the lid closed, and respiration rendered possible 
through the key-hole. Dixey, I think, occupied 
that apartment the often er, while his friend 
sought safety in bed, with a pillow over his face. 

" One day, we were both fishing on the main 
creek below here, when a storm like this burst 
suddenly upon us. It :ame furiously down the 
valley, and was what Fritz calls a ' clipper.' I 
was below Dixey, saw it first, and made for a 
shelter behind a clump of bushes, out of the way 




THE THUNDER-STORM. 

''The lightning struck a tree close by, and its terrific crash caused him to 

bound into the air." [Page 185.] 



RAINY DAYS. 185 

of tall trees. While there, T saw Dixey coming 
down the railroad track on a keen run, doins: his 
level best to reach camp — and the Saratoga — in 
advance of the storm. His line was unreeled, 
flies driven by the wind before him, hat rolling 
like a hoop between the raik, face pale as death, 
but with an expression betokening a determina- 
tion to outrun that storm if he lived. When he 
reached a position immediately opposite where I 
was seated, the lightning struck a tree close by, 
and its terrific crash caused him to bound into the 
air, then, looking behind, as if to be certain he was 
all there, he gave expression to one single but 
expressive word, ' R-r-r-^/> r as he bounded over 
the fence into the ineadow and ran like a deer 
for the camp. I hailed him, but he never stopped, 
only shouted (a word between every jump), 
' Bring — my — hat !' and in an instant was out of 
sight. 

" Dixey and friend had another competitor for 
their favorite resort during a thunder-storm in 
my dog Zip. Zip was even more frightened than 
they, jumping for the tent upon the slightest in- 
dication of alarm upon the part of the gentle- 
men." 

" Why, have you a dog in camp ?" 
" Oh, yes," I said, seating myself by my com- 
panion upon the log, the storm having passed 
down the valley, leaving a faint indication of 
coming light in the western sky. " Yes ; I have 

16* 



186 BODINES. 

a puppy, a thoroughbred, that knows a thing or 
two; having a fine action, good nose, and irre- 
pressible tongue. He's technically called a ' set- 
ter,' but why is past finding out ; for a more 
restless creature could not well be found ; I doubt 
whether he was ever seen ' setting' for tw^o con- 
secutive minutes since he was born. Before we 
left home, he was found swinging upon the clothes- 
reel in the back yard, having fastened his teeth 
in a finely-embroidered garment of some sort, 
which he succeeded in tearing into shreds, while 
he grunted, growled, and barked in very ecstasy 
of delight, until Laura, the maid, interrupted his 
hilarity with a broom-stick. That piece of em- 
broidery, consisting of a pair of very short arms 
and a yoke, cost me, I was vexatiously informed, 
the sum of fifteen dollars ; and seeing that pup 
swinging himself, and the alacrity with which he 
took a fresh hold every time a ribbon of it came 
away in his mouth, induced me to believe it was 
worth the money, the spectacle somewhat as- 
suaging my grief at the cost of the fun. He 
then ate, or in some other mysterious manner 
caused to disappear, the baby's best dress, only 
a small portion of the lace which entered into 
its composition having yet been recovered; he 
was next observed in attempting a luncheon off 
my patent-leather boots ; only succeeding, how- 
ever, in tearing the legs from them ; further 
demolition was suspended by a well-directed 



RAINY DAYS. 187 

boot-jack, that sent him with a ki yi to his 
kennel. One day, affairs culminated; for upon 
entering my usually happy domicile, a storm 
was noticed to be brewing; indeed, I thought 
a change in the atmosphere apparent when a 
block away; but when my better-half met me 
upon the threshold with lire in her eye, a de- 
termined expression of countenance, finding re- 
lief in these words, '■ That puppy is a perfect 
abomination, and you must chain him or take him 
from these premises,' it was plain she meant 
every word of it. I therefore unhesitatingly sent 
for the necessary chain and collar before ventur- 
ing to inquire what new deviltry he had been in- 
dulging in. It gradually leaked out that Zip had 
been viewing himself in the parlor mirror, and 
while engaged in that commendable occupation 
knocked over and broke two vases, carried their 
fragments to the yard, and when discovered, was 
industriously engaged in burying them among 
the choicest flowers, performing the work so 
clumsily as to totally wreck several fine gera- 
niums in the operation. After this exjDloit, he 
deliberately walked into the kitchen, and, when 
Laura's back was turned, jumped with his muddy 
feet into the basket of clean clothes, and snuggled 
down for a quiet snooze. He was dislodged, it 
might be well enough to state; the means em- 
plo^^ed not being so unnatural, under the circum- 
stances : it was accomplished with a hot iron 



188 BODINES. 

lodged directly upon his back, and accompanied 
with a wild wail of indignation from the maid ; 
upon this he left, right speedily too, I inferred, 
if the light of glass that lay shattered upon the 
floor might be accepted as evidence of the fact. 
Well, I chained him ; but that procedure was far 
from satisfactor}', for he howled, barked, and 
raised the very old Harry generally. Thrice daily, 
when at my meals, was I forced to leave the table 
to apply the necessary chastisement that secured 
quietness for the rest of the time. In the night, 
boots, slippers, canes, and other convenient ar- 
ticles were thrown at him from my bedroom 
window, intended to persuade him that howling 
was not the best occupation to engage in. This 
scheme succeeded in so far that when he again 
essayed a howl, it would be cut short in a sort of 
grunt, as he peered aloft to see wdiat manner of 
missile w^as coming from the window next, and 
to speculate upon the possibility of dodging it. 
He is more afraid of the crack of a dog-whip 
than he would be to have a cooking-stove hurled 
at his head. Of this circumstance I took advan- 
tage, and entered into an arrangement to deceive 
the knowing pup. I procured a package of tor- 
pedoes, which I placed on my window-sill upon 
retiring at night. When Zip barked, bang went 
a torpedo near his head, sending him to his ken- 
nel without further cefemony. There would he 
remain for a while, until he thought the coast 



RAINY DAYS. 189 

clear, then lie would stalk cautiously out, peer 
into tlie moonlight, and venture upon a mild sort 
of a howl, just to see what would come of it, 
being careful to keep his head pointed toward the 
kennel door. Another torpedo thrown, sent him 
speedily within, as before. After this, when poor 
Zip so far forgot himself as to indulge in a bark, 
he waited for no invitation, but dived for his hid- 
ing-place with an alacrity that left me master of 
the situation. I really admire that pup ; the 
female portion of the household abhor him ; the 
children love him; and the neighbors — well, they 
damn him ; and so the matter rests at present, 
while Zip is rusticating wdth us. But you can be 
assured of one thing : w^hen I buy another pup 
he will be at least two years old and well broken. 
That torpedo experiment is what induced the 
fear of thunder; he doubtless thinks torpedoes 
of an improved pattern are being hurled at him, 
and he interprets it as an invitation to hunt 
cover, which he accordingly does in the spright- 
liest manner." 

" There comes another storm ; I hear it rum- 
bling beyond the mountain," my clerical friend 
observed. " I see, too, the creek is rising and 
growing quite muddy. I suppose this ends our 
fishing, so we might as well take the road and go 
to camp." 

This suggestion was at once acted upon, bring- 
ing us to our quarters just as the rain struck us. 



190 BODINES. 



H 



As Ave neared the grounds, we heard HamUn 
singing in the large tent, so we stopped in the 
dining-hall to listen. 
This is what we heard : 

"The poets sing 

Like everything 
(And sudl}^ out of tune), 

Of birds and flowers 

And random showers 
That come in the month of June. 

'• Confound their song ! 

I hold they're wrong 
And cra-zy as a screaming loon, 

AVhen they try to tell 

Of the weather spell 
We'll have in the month of June. 

" My friend and I 

Did hither hie 
To spend at least a moon, 

In catching trout 

When the sun shone out, 
In the pleasant month of June. 

" To throw the fly 

Under a rainless sky 
Is indeed the fisherman's boon ; 

Now, I shiver and shake. 

And bones all ache ; 
Confound your month of June I 

" I hope and pray 
For clouds to stray 
To other quarters soon, 



RAINY DAYS. 191 

And relieve two chaps, 
With all their traps, 
From this cold and drizzly June." 

" My sentiments exactly !" Charles exclaimed, 
as he approached us from the point with a string 
of monstrous suckers in his hand. " I found the 
creek coming up, and thought we had better 
lay in a stock of fish as a matter of precaution 
against famine." 

^' Halloo ! got back already ?" Hamlin in- 
quired, addressing us from the flies of the tent. 

" Ay; and heard your ode to the weather." 

" Fine thing ; ran out of words to rhyme Avith 
June, or I might have done the subject justice 
and continued the song indefinitely. As it is, it 
only faintly foreshadows what I might accomplish 
if some fellow furnished the words. But say, 
did it rain anywhere you happened to be ?" 

" Well, yes ; a little. Any here ?" 

" Oh, no; some dew fell awhile ago, — nothing 
to speak of, however." 

'' Thunder any ?" 

'' I really can't tell for certain ; I didn't go out- 
side to see, and there was so much confounded 
noise aloft I couldn't tell." 

" Did you catch the woodchuck?" 

'' No ; gracious ! I forgot him." 

" Let's go see !" 

Arriving at the hole, we found the chain car- 
ried inside, and was taut against the stake. A 



192 



BODINES. 



pull on it satisfied us of the presence of the fel- 
low at the other end, but all efforts at dislodging 
him by pulling, failed. George was therefore 
summoned with a shovel to enlarge the aperture, 
when the animal was s-oon unearthed. He was 
not a handsome fellow. I doubt whether any 
lady would have selected him for a pet, as he 
squatted upon the mound, lashing his short tail 
upon the ground, gnashing his long, yellow teeth, 
and scratching dirt into our eyes, in his frantic 
efforts to escape. He was at last secured, con- 
veyed to camp, and chained to a sapling, where 
the taming process was to be instituted. Charles 
at once essayed the role of wild-animal tamer; 
but after a week of most patient endeavor, only 
succeeded in getting near enough to pitch clover 
to him from a long, forked stick, while his drink 
was squirted at him from a force-pump ; the little, 
ferocious beast sitting upon his haunches, biting, 
snapping, and looking for an opportunity to grab 
his trainer by the leg. 

"• Unchain and let him go, Charles ; he will 
bite some one yet." 

''Shall I?" 

" Certainly." 

" Think I can't, eh ? I'll show you." 

He took the long, crotched stick, placed it 
about the animal's neck, and pinned the snarling 
rascal to the bank, when he loosened the strap 
from his neck and let him go. His first move 



RAINY DAYS. 



193 



was an eiFort to catch Charles by the leg, seeing 
which the pole was brought about with a sweep 
that sent him sprawling into the creek. 

*' There, take that^ you ungrateful little wretch !" 
Charles said, as he stood watching the animal 
floating down the rapid into the deep pond, at 
the edge of which it clambered up the rocks and 
disappeared in the thicket. 

As Charles lay down in the hammock, he was 
heard to make this single observation, — 

" 'Eo more woodchucks for me, if you please !" 




17 



CHAPTER XII. 

RALSTON. 

GTlens, Gorges, Cascades, and Waterfalls. 

An invitation had been received from Mrs. 
Myer for the campers to dine at Ralston. 

Accordingly, after breakfast, Hamlin, Charles, 
Thad Jr., and myself started on foot up the 
beautiful mountain-road to that picturesque re- 
treat. We loitered by the way, admiring the 
laurel and rhododendron blossoms that made our 
pathway a bower of budding beauty. The white 
and pink laurels never appeared so lovely we 
thought as upon that cool, delightful morning 
walk. Robins were singing everywhere, and 
diminutive unseen warblers filled the air with 
their melody. Red squirrels scampered along the 
fences, black and grays bounded from branch to 
branch of the great trees until they found safety 
in the dense woods, to bark and chatter their 
happiness in secure retreat. Woodchucks ran 
across our path and disappeared in the thicket ; 
muskrats swam the stream with tufts of grass in 
their mouths, making graceful dives beneath the 
water when our presence was discovered. A 
partridge lighted in the road before us, display- 

194 



RALSTON. 195 

ing lier skill in iiiiii licking the lame and wounded, 
until we were led far from her young brood, 
heard peeping in the bushes. 

Arriving near the foot of Powell's pond, where 
a portion of the creek follows the base of the 
mountain, — a charmingly shaded stream, — we 
sat upon a log to rest. Presently a black mink 
and nine young were seen approaching along the 
shore. They Avere graceful, sleek little creatures, 
gliding along so noiselessly as to have almost es- 
caped our notice. The mother, catching a glimpse 
of us, turned quickly, uttering a faint squeak of 
alarm that sent the pretty family back again, she 
leading the way across the stream, followed by 
her young. One little fellow, carried away by 
the swift current, squealed right lustily, causing 
us to rise in anxious sympathy for his misfortune. 
Before our assistance could be rendered, however, 
the mother plunged into the stream, seized him 
by the neck and carried him ashore, and the 
interesting party darted into the crevices of the 
rocks and were lost to view. 

We strolled leisurely along, here and there 
encountering tiny mountain-streams that had 
their birthplace high up in the ravines, finding 
their way across the road, glistening in the sun- 
light, and tumbling over the bank into the creek 
below. About their edges, numerous butterflies 
had collected, rising leisurely in the air to settle 
again as soon as undisturbed. A hawk was seen. 



196 BODINES. 

chased through the air by the kingbirds that 
pounced upon his back, he uttering remonstrat- 
ing screams as he flopped his way to the moun- 
tain-top. 

Two miles above and half-way upon our jour- 
ney, lay Astenville with its long row of deserted 
tenements, that stretch themselves along the 
grassy sward at the junction of two great moun- 
tains. Throu2:h the narrow o:or2:e, a stream comes 
splashing down over the bowlders and rocks to 
mingle its cool waters with the Lycoming. It 
possesses the euphonious name of Frozen Run, 
at the mere suggestion of which we all stooped 
down and drank of its refreshing water. 

Around a turn in the gorge, lifting its black- 
ened summit from among the stately hemlocks, 
we beheld an immense chimney, and as we drew 
nearer, found the rickety buildings of a furnace, 
the costly machinery of which, from exposure to 
weather, was rapidly falling to rust and ruin. 

Upon the run above the furnace is a dam, form- 
ing a pretty pond, in which sport the sprightliest 
trout, distinguished from their fellows in the 
larger stream, by their deeper and richer colors. 

Retracing our steps to the main road, we espied 
the peak of a modest spire, just peeping out from 
the dense foliage by which it is surrounded. A 
closer inspection revealed a small church, in which 
the former inhabitants of the village doubtless 
worshipped, in the prosperous days of the valley. 



RALSTON. 197 

Close at hand, another crumblhig furnace 
stands, exhibiting its picturesque lines and crim- 
son-painted boiler against the dark-green back- 
ground of the mountain. 

Farther on, the mountain becomes more pre- 
cipitous, huge rocks are piled in ungainly masses, 
many having crumbled, covering the mountain- 
side with a sombre, gray mantle that renders the 
flowery regions below more lovely for the con- 
trast. Here and there, black dots mark the en- 
trances to iron mines, while zigzag lines indicate 
th.e railways that formerly carried ore to the now 
idle furnaces. 

Journeying along, we speculated upon the 
fabulous sums of money here sunken, of the 
families impoverished, and fortunes lost in the 
disastrous enterprise, until w^e came to a cool 
spring whose waters bubbled from beneath a 
moss- and fern-covered rock by the roadside. 
Some ]ohilanthropist had constructed a watering- 
trough under the protecting shade of a large tree, 
around which, and by the spring, wild forget-me- 
nots and violets were blooming fresh and crisp 
under the trickling water that fell upon them 
from the mossy rocks. 

Seated upon a grassy mound, we admired the 
charming landscape with its encircling hills. 
Among a cluster of trees upon the flats was seen 
the Kalston House, to its rear the Lycoming 
Creek, with a beautiful rapid, across which is 

17* 



198 BODINES. 

thrown a rude bridge leading to the mountain- 
road. IS^ear the railway bridge that spans the 
creek beyond, is the mouth of Rock Run, and 
farther still. Red Run and Dutchman Run empty 
their waters into the Lycoming. 

Looking toward the north, the inclined plane 
stretches in a straight line from base to peak of 
the high mountain, over which busy cars bring 
coal to the valley below. 

Far to the north and south, mountain profiles 
cut the blue sky, with now and then a notch 
through which some nmrmuring creek finds its 
tortuous w^ay. A more delightful spot for quiet 
could not well be found. 

The rambles through glens and chasms are un- 
surpassed. A drive down the mountain-road 
reveals a display of wild-flowers, mosses, and 
ferns delightful to behold, while the trout upon 
the various streams, though by no means abun- 
dant, afi:brd the angler additional pleasure. 

The hotel— kept by Mr. S. C. Myer— is of the 
very best character, where ih^ summer sojourner 
will find an excellent table, good beds, large 
rooms, and ample means of recreation. 

After a sumptuous dinner, we all took a stroll 
in company with Chandler, whose summering- 
place this is, introducing Charles to Rock Run. A 
more enchanting stream I have never encountered. 
Dressed in wading-suits, we passed along the 
bank of the creek to the foot of the mountain, 



■I 

in- w 



RALSTON. 199 

there crossed the stream to take a path occupy- 
ing the bed of the Switchback Railway that years 
before was employed for mining purposes. The 
path, though well defined, is overgrown with wild 
plants, while moss-covered logs occasionally ob- 
struct the way. 

The banks of the gorge are covered with im- 
mense trees, the woodman's axe never having 
desecrated the place. Black, yellow, and white 
birch, crooked beeches, sugar-maples, and grand 
old hemlocks and pines raise their lofty heads 
far, far above the overhanging ledges. 

As we advance, the gorge growls narrower, the 
rocks higher, the creek more rapid, until a turn 
in the path leads us away into the forest among 
massive trees, huge bowlders, and lofty lichen- 
whitened crags that project from the mountain- 
crests flanking the noisy creek. 

For three miles we walked through the wilder- 
ness, no axe-marked stumps, no barkless, pros- 
trate trees to indicate the track of the lumberman. 
All our surroundings are as nature fashioned 
them, — grand in their solitude, picturesque in 
their undisturbed repose. 

The path turning abruptly to the right, its 
course leading through dense laurel whose pink 
blossoms brush our faces, we arrived upon the 
bank of the creek again, at a point where Miner's 
Run creeps among the rocks to find its way into 
the gorge below. Here the two streams meet, 



200 BODINES. 



m 



forming a cascade, below which is a deep basin, 
carved out of solid rock, in the dark recesses of 
which many large trout are lying, as our fliea. 
have revealed on numerous former excursions. ^' 

Above this point, at one and two miles, are two 
magnificent falls, amidst wild and grand scenery. 
But upon the present occasion we moved down 
tlie stream that cuts its Avay through solid rock, 
forming delightful little cascades, roaring rapids, 
and foaming swirls, until the "First Falls" are 
reached. The water here rushes over a precipice 
eighteen feet high, with rocky abutments on 
either side that have been cut through by the 
constant wear of ages. 

Climbing over the rocks and around the falls, 
by aid of the laurel-roots, to the high bank above, 
we looked down into a cavern sixty feet below, 
where the water rushes and foams in its rocky bed. 

Carefully working our way down, we reached 
the level of the creek once more, to have a front 
view of the falls, showing a clear sheet of water, 
behind Avhicli dark, moss-covered rocks were 
seen as through a lace curtain. A delicate mist 
rose from the falls bathing our upturned faces, 
and, to our right, amber-colored waters trickled 
over the shelving rocks, upon which violets nodded 
their pretty heads in graceful obeisance to the 
falling spray. 

On the other side immense cliffs rose perpen- 
dicularly before us, from the summits of which 



RALSTON. 201 

loftj hemlock stubs leaned in threatening atti- 
tude. We turned our backs upon the weird 
scene and clambered over the rocks to the rapids 
below. Hardly a glimpse of the sky was seen ; 
never a ray from the sun penetrates the deep, 
rock-bound cavern. Let the inhabitants in the 
valley swelter in the heat of the August sun, all 
is cool and serene here. 

We now came to a place where the creek has 
worn for itself a channel — hardly six feet wide, 
but daric and deej^ — through solid rock, in which 
the water rushes, hisses, and roars until released 
in an ample pool below. Here again a rocky 
basin is formed, with bottom as smooth and round 
as though fashioned by the potter's hand. 

Hastening down, we reached Porcupine Pool, 
with its projecting rocks, placid water, and cool 
retreat upon moss- and violet-covered banks, 
where picknickers are wont to rest and take their 
noontime meal. A gentleman once lunching 
here with Chandler saw a porcupine come from 
out the thicket and take a drink at the sparkling 
fountain, then, nodding an adieu to his observers, 
dodged into his lair again. To this incident is 
the pool indebted for its name, it being ever 
afterward known to fishermen and tourists as 
" Porcupine Pool." 

Rapids, cascades, pools, and swirls succeed one 
another imtil the old dam is reached, where the 

canon widens, and 

1* 



202 BODINES. 

"The mountain mists uprolling, let the waiting sunlight 
down." 

The dam has formed a lodgment for all man- 
ner of flood-wood, accumulated in an inextricable 
mass upon its edge. Through it water trickles 
and spouts in every direction, forming tiny rain- 
bows over its blackened surface, wliile trout dart 
for covert in the large pool as our shadows fall 
upon its surface. 

From this point the walk is less rugged, the 
stream wider with fewer rapids, until we reach 
the broad plateau that leads to the hotel. 

Close at hand, near the foot of the inclined 
plane, is a fall, the beauty of which has been so 
loudly praised that our steps are involuntarily 
directed thither. Reaching the railway track, in 
the centre of the narrow valley, and following it 
up beyond the plane, there is a path leading to 
the foot of the mountain, when we soon step into 
the cosiest dell imaginable. 

It is surrounded with stately forest-trees, whose 
boughs spread themselves so far above our heads 
as to permit an uninterrupted view of one of the 
loveliest falls my eyes ever beheld. Here 

"... the stream whose silver-braided rills 
Fling their unclasping bracelets from the hills, 
Till in one gleam beneath the forest-wings, • 
Melts the white glitter of a hundred springs." 

One can but wonder, as he looks upon this 
beautiful fall with accompanying stream and 



RALSTON. 203 

murmuring rills, whether Dr. Holmes did not 
find inspiration for the lines while gazing upon 
its marvellous beauty. 

Before us is a mass of striated rocks, rising 
more than one hundred feet perpendicularly 
from a dark cavern. Its surface is irregular, 
dark lines running transversely over its face, 
from which ferns, lichens, mosses, grasses, violets, 
and wild forget-me-nots are growing in luxuri- 
ant profusion. At its top a channel is worn deep 
down, from which flows, in graceful curve, a 
crystal body of water a hundred feet to the gulf 
below. Half-way down, it strikes a projecting 
ledge, from which it is thrown into white foam 
that tumbles on either side in a boiling, seething 
mass, then falls with a steady roar and splash 
upon the great bowlders in the chasm, from which 
a spray is dashed upon the overhanging rocks, to 
trickle down again with never-ceasing murmur. 
And this, in the vernacular of the natives, is 
"Dutchman Falls." 

As we retrace our steps toward the hotel, Ave 
once more pass the plane, where Mr. Piatt, the 
superintendent, hails us, and, with characteristic 
hospitality, invites us to his pleasant cottage to 
tea. The afternoon being already well spent, 
and the walk to camp still before us, this pleas- 
ure, from necessity, is declined. He accom- 
panies us in our walk toward the hotel, and 
speaks of the village of Mclntyre, upon the 



204: BODINES. 

mountain, where eight hundred miners dwell, 
delving under-ground for coal. 

Before reaching the hotel, we come to the 
mouth of Red Run, emptying into the main 
stream from the western mountain. This run 
is not a whit less beautiful than the one just ex- 
plored ; and. Chandler insisting upon our visiting 
it, we decide upon a short journey to one or two 
of its most attractive points. 

We turn aside, therefore, and seek a winding 
path that takes us through a dense laurel thicket, 
and step out upon a table-rock, projecting over 
the creek that runs sixty feet below. Looking 
up the stream, a thirty-feet fall is seen, with its 
strange, reddish water, that takes its color from 
the tamarack swamp in which it rises. 

Immediately above this point, only to be reached 
by retracing our steps to the original path, is an- 
other fall and cascade, extending through a chasm 
of rock for more than a hundred and fifty yards. 
Continuing up the rugged water-course for three 
miles, we find a succession of beautiful pools, 
falls and cascades, until we come to the loveliest 
of them all, pitching gracefully down from its 
rock-bound crest, thirty feet above. The pecu- 
liarity of this fall consists in the rock that forms 
it, being in the shape of a cone, over which the 
water pours in two sheets, the under one strik- 
ing upon the shelving rocks, forming numerous 
smaller cascades, seen through the outer, ruby- 



RALSTON. 205 

colored sheet that falls smoothly over all. Two 
slender hemlocks that found root upon the rocks, 
lean toward each other over the crest, forming a 
green arbor, through which the water flows to the 
deep, dark pool below. 

Chandler, who worships l^ature often at this 
shrine, has given it the name of " Kuby Falls," 
and never tires of conducting his friends thither 
when summer finds him rusticating in this glori- 
ous valley. 

So varied and numerous are the rambles about 
Kalston that this entire volume might be devoted 
to their description. Mossy dells, lovely grottoes, 
marvellous glens and canons, everywhere abound, 
while mineral springs entice the visitor to drink 
of their health-giving waters. 

In the evening, when the long summer twihght 
is upon the valley, ''the church on the moun- 
tain," formed by a cluster of trees, — a silhouette 
against the gray sky, — is pointed out from the 
pleasant balcony of the hotel. 

Here the guests sit listening to the whip-poor- 
wills and watch the moon rising from behind 
the dusky mountain, to throw her silvery light 
upon hill and dale. 

Then, the fragrance exhaled from the balsams 
upon the cool evening air becomes grateful to 
the lungs and invigorating to the body. 

Indeed, next to camping-out, I know of no 
more delightful spot for those in love with scen- 

18 



206 BODINES. 

eiy such as I have endeavored to describe than 
Ralston. isTo attempt at dress is indulged in, no 
dissipations in balls and parties thought of. I 
heartily recommend it to those in need of a quiet, 
unostentatious, healthful, and inexpensive sum- 
mering-place. 

Persons intending to visit this region can se- 
cure ample accommodations by writing to S. C. 
Myer, Ralston, Lycoming Co., Pa., or to Miss 
Jennie Conley, v^dio keeps a quiet boarding-house 
across the creek from the Ralston House. 

Gentlemen should provide themselves with old 
clothing and brogan shoes for wading purposes, 
and for climbing mountains and traversing glens. 
The ladies will find flannel suits, with short skirts 
and heavy shoes, a great and indispensable con- 
venience, should they desire to visit any of the 
wild scenery to which I have referred. 

Reaching the hotel, tired from our long jaunt, 
Mrs. Myer insisted upon preparing us a cup of 
tea and luncheon before the return to camp. 
This disposed of, we were refreshed and invig- 
orated for the homeward march. 

Charles and Thad Jr. took to the road, while 
Hamlin and I concluded to cast our flies once 
more over our former favorite ground in the 
Sugar Bottom. Chandler accompanied us partly 
on our way, pointing out spots where he had 
pricked large trout the day before ; and, after see- 
ing us land one or two beauties, retraced his steps 



RALSTON. 207 

with a merry song toward his stopping-place at 
the hotel. 

We fished over the familiar places which years 
before rewarded us so nobly ; through the Sugar 
Bottom, the deep pool back of Astenville, the 
mouth of Pleasant Stream, Powell's Pond, the 
Slope Wall, thence over the waters in front of 
the high bank, on down to camp, where we found 
Charles and Thad Jr. awaiting our coming that 
supper might be served. 

Emptying our creels, a fair catch of fish was 
exhibited ; and, at the evening smoke about the 
camp-fire, all voted the day a complete success. 

A threatenirig storm induced us to seek our 
beds earlier than usual, where we lay chatting 
over the adventures of the day, and planning new 
excursions for the morrow, until the gentle patter 
of the rain upon our canvas roof lulled us into a 
quiet, refreshing sleep. 




CHAPTER XIII. 

SUNDAY IN CAMP. 
The Dogs chase a Deer, and Charles asks Sundry Questions 

" Glory be to God on high !" rang out upon 
the clear morning air, greeting my ears in a 
cheerful song, which I recognized as having 
Hamlin at the other end of it. 

I rose from the bed, looked out between the 
flies, to see my friend upon a projecting plank at 
the water's edge, bathing his face with a sponge 
while he looked toward the rising sun. 

The morning was a charming one ; the sun 
just peeping through the notch in the mountain 
sent a flood of light upon the ripple before us. 

" Halloo, Hamlin ! Why this exultation at so 
early an hour ?" 

" Come out here and tell me, — did you ever 
see so glorious a morning ? Don't idle your time 
away in bed ; such a scene is far too beautiful to 
be lost. Call Charles!" 

" It will be necessary to go beyond the limits 
of this camp to fulfil the requirements of that 
last observation of yours. Charles is not here." 

" Where is he ?" 

" Down by the dam, likely, diving from its 
208 



SUNDAY IN CAMP. 209 

comb into the foam below. At least, I heard 
him make some such threat before we retired last 

night." 

" Why, I didn't hear him get up." 
^':NrorI; but I felt him covering us up some 
time during the night. When he sleeps is past 
finding out; he seems to be seeking every one's 
comfort but his own. There he comes now ; I 
hear his paddle on the water." 

Presently Charles's boat shot into the pond 
from out the little bayou that leads to the meadow 
behind Bodine's barn. He was singing merrily, 
seeming to be imbued with the prevailing good 
feelingof men and birds induced by the auspi- 
cious "opening of the day. In a few minutes his 
boat touched the shore, and he alighted, carrying 
a hatful of eggs, which he placed upon the table, 

remarking, — 

"I heard you say fresh eggs were needed, so I 
engaged a few hens to lay them for me. I've 
been'in the squire's barn ; and say," he quickly 
added, " I saw an old chap coming up the moun- 
tain-road just now, looking for his hounds ; he 
said they got loose this morning and made for the 
forest, and that if we kept quiet we'd see a deer 
run across our point before a great while." 

" But, see here, Charles, this is Sunday, and 
running deer on such a day, and out of season, 
too, isn't just the thing." 

" True enough ; perhaps that is the reason the 



210 BODINES. 

old chap was looking for his dogs, that he might 
suggest the situation of affairs to them. Doubt- 
less, if they knew this to he Sunday, they would 
feel ashamed of their performance and slink home 
with tails between their legs. At least I hope so, 
for the sake of the moral aspect of the com- 
munity in general, and the dogs in particular." 

"It is a little indecorous in those dogs to be 
chasing deer to-day, that's a fact," Hamlin re- 
marked ; " but I'd give a cookie to learn what 
their conclusions might be relative to a chap who 
deliberately invades a barn on Sunday to appro- 
priate any eggs therein found." 

" See here, Mr. Hamlin, if that observation is 
meant to be personal, assailing the character of a 
party from Brooklyn, permit me to remark that 
I had a tacit understanding with those hens, and 
permission from the owner of the barn, by reason 
of proffers of sundry nickels, to appropriate the 
united products of their labor for one day, and, 
by George, I don't " 

"Breakfast!" shouted George, as he ran to- 
ward the dining-room with a dish of smoking hot 
potatoes in his hand, which he set down with a 
crash, placed his fingers in his mouth, then 
whirled them through the air, and, jumping about 
upon one foot, exclaimed, — 

" Lor' a massa but das hot !" 

" I saw a queer transaction this morning in the 
small bayou," Charles said, while we seated our- 



SUNDAY IN CAMP. 211 

selves around the table ; "I watched for a long 
while the antics of a ' bull-head' with a lot of 
young. She had them gathered about her, to the 
number of three or four hundred, — little, black 
fellows that resembled tadpoles. She watched 
and cared for them as carefully as an old hen 
would her chickens, and did not permit a fish of 
any sort to come near them. I never knew before 
that they protected their young by personal super- 
vision." 

" That is new to me also, although I have seen 
trout and bass guarding their spawning-beds, but 
never their young," Hamlin said. 

'' It is a wonder to me that so many eggs of the 
fish escape destruction. I never wade a rift that 
I do not see suckers rooting and feeding in a 
spawning-bed. I am surprised that trout are as 
abundant as we find them, when it is considered 
how many natural enemies they have. Suckers, 
mullets, crabs, and insects feed upon the spawn. 
Pickerel, fish-hawks, kingfishers, and innumer- 
able birds and animals prey upon the young fish, 
yet thousands escape to come to maturity and to 
our hooks." 

"I hear da dogs a-comin' !" George shouted. 

" So they are," Charles said. "A long way off 
they must be ; hark ! I can just hear faint hayings 
beyond the mountain ; wonder whether they're 
coming this way ?" 

" We can lay off and see," Hamlin replied, 



212 BODINES. 

rising from the table and stretching himself out 
in the hammock. "A fellow need not plug his 
ears I imagine, even if it is Sunday." 

Presently, the cry of a dog was heard from be- 
yond the mountain ; then another, both becom- 
ing clearer, yet a great way off. We walked into 
the open, to the rear of the camp, and listened. 
Only a faint sound came to us, then died away. 
We waited, turned our ears anxiously in the di- 
rection of the last sound, — quietness only. We 
were about to return ; the baying became louder 
than before. Along the mountain-tops it rang 
nearer, clearer. Then we caught a faint glimpse 
of the animals' forms, that was lost again as they 
passed over a ridge into a deep gully beyond. 

Ascending the slope across the ravine, they 
once more " gave tongue" in cheery tones, mak- 
ing the cliffs ring with their melody. Around 
the hills they circled, their deep voices growing 
fainter as they descended into a ravine, louder 
and rounder when they climbed the opposite 
bank, and then died out in the distance. A half- 
hour of silence almost persuaded us that the game 
was lost; but then the short, sharp yelp of the 
liounds announced their close proximity, being 
almost upon us. Along the summit of the moun- 
tain, at the base of which we stood, rang out the 
prolonged bellowings that were rendered even 
more musical against the opposite hills. Still 
tliey ran and bayed and yelped and made the 



SUNDAY IN CAMP. 213 

echoes fill the very air with crying dogs. They 
struck the ridge leading to our point. Down it 
they came, the yelps growing fiercer, the dogs 
coming nearer. We saw the laurels parting, 
trembling, and swaying, heard a crackling, then 
a splash ! 

" Look a dar ! Look a dar !" George shouted 
in the most excited manner, pointing toward the 
bayou with one hand and holding his dish-pan 
aloft with the other. 

We looked in the direction indicated, to see the 
head of a doe gliding rapidly down the pond. 
Upon hearing George's animated voice, and see- 
ing all the campers rush to the point of the little 
island, she made several desperate plunges to 
regain the mountain-side, failing in which, she 
swam farther down and tried again, this time 
succeeding, and disappeared among the dense 
laurels and rhododendrons through which many 
a time we had failed to force our way. 

Scarcely had the deer gained the thicket before 
the dogs came upon the spot where she entered 
the stream. There they stood for a moment, and, 
snifiing the air, gave a disappointed howl, then, 
acting upon some sort of understanding between 
themselves, one followed the bank down while 
the other ran up the stream. 

l^ot a sound was heard for fifteen minutes; 
then, where the deer quitted the water, the dog be- 
low struck the trail again, and made the "welkin 




214 BODINES. 

ring" with his exultant cry. In an instant, a 
streak was seen along the mountain-road that 
marked the course of the up-stream dog on the 
way to join his companion. True to his nature, 
he did not " give tongue" until the trail was 
reached. A short cry announced that he had 
joined in the chase, then their united voices 
melted away in the deep forest, and they were 
heard no more. 

" By George ! that was quite enjoyahle if it is 
Sunday," Charles observed. " What musical 
voices those hounds have. [N^ever heard any- 
thing like it before; it's Avorth coming to the 
woods to hear." 

^^ Your enthusiasm reminds me of an incident 
related quite graphically by Sanders," Hamlin 
replied. " He recently visited Cortland County 
to engage in a fox-hunt. The dogs got loose and 
took a hunt upon their OAvn responsibility one 
Sunday morning, when an enthusiastic hunter 
called to his father, saying, — 

" ' Oh father, come here, quick, and listen to 
this heavenly music !' 

" The old gentleman appeared at the door, 
placed his hand behind his best ear, listened a 
moment, then returned to his comfortable arm- 
chair, petulantly remarking, — 

" ' I can't hear nothin', — them hounds make 
such a confounded noise.' 

" Evidently the father was not so much of an 



SUNDAY IN CAMP. 215 

enthusiast for out-door sports as the youngster 
supposed." 

"Oh, papa! papa! come here and see this 
funny bird! He's a-standin' right on the side 
ov the tree where there isn't enny limbs," Fritz 
shouted from the rear of the large tent. 

I went to him, and found a " yellow hammer" 
upon the old stub, busily picking over its surface 
for grubs. 

'' That's a woodpecker, my son," I said, " and 
all birds of that kind light upon a tree or limb 
lengthwise, while robins, crows, and other birds 
sit across the limb." I then went into an expla- 
nation of the habits of birds, much to his delight, 
and left him. 

Soon, he came running toward me with a Sun- 
day-school journal in his hand, upon which was 
shown a picture of an angel with outstretched 
wings, and a dinner-horn to her lips. (I say her, 
for now that I think of it, I rarely see a picture 
of a male angel, which circumstance startles me 
just a little.) Holding the picture up for inspec- 
tion, he made this inquiry, — 

" Pa, which way does angels light?" 
"My son, I give it up. You must ask some 
one more familiar with their habits than I. Per- 
haps Mr. Hamlin can tell you; go try !" 

" The squire was telling me yesterday," Charles 
said, " of some old chap below here, who can 
go out any day and catch more trout with a cot- 



216 BODINES. 

ton string for a line, an alder stock for a pole, 
and a pin for a hook, than most fishermen who 
come here with fancy poles and tackle. That 
seems queer to me. Do you believe it ?" 

" Such traditions are indigenous to all fishing 
localities, Charles. Go where you will, that won- 
derful individual with his primitive and clumsy 
tackle, will invariably be referred to, and his 
miraculous achievements commented upon. But 
to this I can testify : he's a myth ; you will never 
encounter him. Should he exist in name, his 
exploits are wholly imaginary. I will agree to 
match Hamlin or Thad against any- three men 
equipped in the manner described, and will war- 
rant either one to bring in four times as many 
fish as all of them combined. 

" Trout are not so anxious to rise to clumsy 
flies and cotton strings as many are wont to sup- 
pose. Doubtless, such feats were performed in 
early days, when trout were abundant and not 
much sought for; but now, it is quite different; 
they require fine leaders, delicate flies, and skilful 
throwing to deceive them." 

" What sort of a line is that upon your rod 
yonder?" Charles inquired. " I see it is very flne 
and lio^ht." 

'^ That is a linen, braided line, tapered and 
made waterproof. I prefer it to silk, hair, or any 
other sort. It is lighter, is delivered more freely 
through the rings, and docs not fray." 



SUNDAY IN GAMP. 217 

" How long is your leader?^' 

" Just seven feet, and made of very fine but 
strong gut. I taper it, placing the finest gut at 
the free end, and the heavier where it joins the 
line, both ends terminating in loops. Three feet 
from the free end I make another short loop for 
the ' dropper,' tied in such a manner as to make 
it point up the line. Here, I'll show you how to 
tie it, for I regard it as one of my most important 
discoveries. 




When you have made three feet of the leader — 
the finest end — tie a loop upon each end, then tie 
this to the line end in the manner represented in 
the drawing. This will prevent the fly from 
clino-ino; to the leader, but will make it stand out 
straight when drawn over the water, so doing 
away with one of the chief annoyances of fly- 
casting. If the second loop is made double at its 
shank and well shellacked, it will be still more 
rio'id and less liable to clino;." 

" What sort of a reel do you prefer?" 
"A nickel-plated click reel, by all odds. I 
have tried the ' basket reel,' the rubber reel, and 
several other sorts, but have returned to the click, 
as answering all the requirements of a good reel 
better than any other. If the Fowler rubber 

K 19 



218 BODINES. 

reel had a click attachment, I would regard it as 
the perfection of reels. The adv^antages pos- 
sessed by the Fowler reel are lightness and the 
rapidity with which it takes up the line. But it 
lacks, as I said, the click, which regulates the 
movement of a reel better than any other device, 
beside being a merry indicator of the fish's strike. 
IKever buy a cheap reel, — that would be the poor- 
est sort of economy, the contrivance annoying 
you perpetually. One of the very best work- 
manship should be secured, with handle well 
fitted, so that the line will not become fastened 
in the groove of the handle or crank when 
lengthening it for a longer cast." 

"Another thing I have wondered over: why 
do fishermen carry such quantities of flies ?" 

" The older or more experienced the angler, 
the fewer flies you will find in his book. When 
I first fitted myself out, I'm almost ashamed to 
tell you, I had forty dollars worth of flies, of all 
sorts and descriptions, which it certainly would 
not have been a sin to worship, for they resem- 
bled nothing ' that is in heaven above, or that is 
in the earth beneath, or that is in the water un- 
der the earth.' I now confine m3'self to a half- 
dozen varieties, consisting of — 

" ' The Hamlin' (black body, black hackle, 
white wing, and long, black tail, ending in a 
white tip). 

" ' The Great Dun' (lead-colored wing, mouse- 



SUNDAY IN CAMP. 219 

colored body, grayish hackle, and long, speckled 
tail). 

" * Bright Fox' (white wing, light-yellow body, 
no hackle, and slender tail, made from three or 
four hairs from crest of English pheasant). 

'' ' Grizzly King' (speckled wing, green body, 
light-red hackle, tail from feather of scarlet ibis). 

"• 'Black Gnat' (lead-colored wing, black body, 
black hackle, no tail). 

" ' Queen of the Waters' (light, speckled wing, 
yellow body, yellow hackle, yellow tail, or none). 

" These include all the varieties really needed 
upon any of the waters of Pennsylvania or E'ew 
York. You have observed that I have not 
changed my cast since our arrival here. I use 
the ' Handin' on the lead and the ' Great Dun' 
for a dropper. This constitutes my cast. Wound 
about my hat is another leader, upon which is 
fastened a 'Black Gnat' for the end fly and a 
' Bright Fox' for a dropper. This is for use at 
dusk, and as long as my flies can be seen upon 
the water. When I can no longer discern them, 
or see where they strike, I quit. I never could 
see any sport in night fishing, neither have I had 
any success after dark, casting a ' miller' or other 
white fly. 

" My flies are made smaller than those usually 
found in stock, being tied upon I^os. 9 and 14 
hooks. As a general thing, it is a waste of time 
to be forever changing your flies. If the trout 



220 BODINES. 

are not rising, it is entirely useless to fling an as- 
sortment of flies at them. Stick to your cast of 
the * Hamlin' and ' Great Dun,' when, depend 
upon it, you will come in with as full a creel 
as your companions, who imagined their flies 
wrong, and spent valuable time in searching for 
the rio-ht ones. I am aware that excellent fisher- 
men differ with me upon this point ; and I have 
also noticed that my plan kills the most fish. 

" Another thing let me caution you against : do 
not buy more flies than are needed for one sea- 
son, for the gut becomes tender, and parts at its 
junction with the hook, when kept in the fly- 
book for a year or more. Lay in a fresh supply 
every spring. I order of James Ratcliffe, Arcade 
Block, Rochester, N. Y., two dozen each of the 
' Hamlin' and ' Great Dun,' and half-dozens of 
the other varieties. I pay one dollar a dozen for 
them, and find them quite as serviceable as the 
more costly ones of other makers. 

" Before laying your fl^'-book away, sprinkle a 
little crushed camphor-gum between its leaves, 
else will the moths attack it and the flies. 

" Your reels should be taken apart, cleaned 
and oiled. 

" Rods must be well varnished with the best 
copal varnish. jN'ever use shellac, — it scales and 
cracks, letting the moisture come in contact with 
the wood to swell the joints and make them stick. 
When the varnish is thoroughly dry, lay your rods 




SUNDAY IN CAMP. 221 

in a suitable box and stow it away upon the floor 
of some closet, at a distance from chimney or 
register. Do not stand them on end, they must 
lie flat on the floor to prevent warping. 

"Lines should be unreeled and stretched in 
the sunlight, and rubbed with a chamois-skin, 
then laid away in hanks, unreeled, until needed. 
This will prevent their becoming rotten. 

" Creels are best preserved by rinsing in a 
strong solution of sal-soda ; hung up to dry, then 
oiled with raw linseed oil. 

'' If you exercise this care with your tackle, it 
will remain sound and efficient for years." 

" ISTow, tell me another thing : how do you get 
through the bushes with your rod and hanging 
flies without breaking your tip and hooking fast 
to every branch that obstructs the path ?" 

"Easy enough; nothing more simple to ac- 
complish. In my pocket I carry two small corks, 
into which I hook my flies before entering the 
brush, and I point my rod ahead of me, carrying 
it parallel with the ground, being careful not to 
strike the tip against a tree. Never be in a hurry, 
either in going through the brush or wading a 
stream. Always take it leisurely, particularly in 
fishing, and be sure not to take your feet out in 
stepping, but glide them through the water noise- 
lessly, and without creating waves or splashes to 
notify the trout of your approach. Be careful, 
too, not to let your shadow fall upon the pool 

19* 



222 BODINES. 

where you intend to make a cast, else ^dll you 
send the large trout scudding for covert. 

" Some fishermen are forever on the go, seek- 
ing for better places over which to cast their flies, 
or to reach some favorite pool or spring-hole be- 
fore it is invaded by other anglers. Haste begets m 
' nervousness,' causing awkward casts and care- 
less ploddings through the stream, putting the 
fish to flight, to be captured by the more j)atient, 
careful fisherman an hour afterward." 

" Well, I was bothered in another w^ay yester- 
day: my tip kept coming out of the ferrule ; and, 
to add to my misfortune, the wind took my 
leader into a tree-top, from which I failed to re- 
move it. I must say, I'm not much in love with 
fresh-water fishing ; the tackle is too delicate, and 
the perplexities of casting too numerous. But 
just place me in a sail-boat on the bay, when 
blue fish are taking the squid, then I'm at home." 

" Both your difiiculties are easily overcome, 
Charles : place a piece of waxed thread in the 
socket, then force the ferrule home, when you Avill 
find it will remain in place. To get your leader 
down from the tree-top : cut a small sapling, — for 
this purpose I carry a large-bladed knife, weigh- 
ing half a pound, with which I can fell the tree 
in a twinkling, — trim it of its branches, and let 
the top terminate in a long fork. E^ow, get the 
limb to which your leader is fast between the 
prongs of the fork and twist the sapling round 



SUNDAY IN CAMP. 223 

and round, until tlie limb is twisted oif or the 
leaves and flies stripped from it. You can al- 
most invariably succeed in this manner." 

" I wonder why it is that I do not hook more 
than one-quarter of the trout that rise to my 
flies ?" 

'' A trout does not always get the fly when he 
attempts to ; it may be lying against the leader, 
making it impossible for him to get it in his 
mouth ; you may jerk too quickly, taking it out 
of reach ; the strike may be too hard, tearing his 
mouth. Indeed, I think the tendency of all fish- 
ermen is to jerk too hard, either taking the fly 
out of the fish's mouth, or tearing a portion of his 
jaw away. More trout by far are pricked than 
hooked. Large ones usually hook themselves, and 
almost always take the fly laider the w^ater. Prac- 
tice only can teach you when to strike ; you see 
a faint gleam under the surface, when you in- 
stinctively twitch, to find you have hooked a 
beauty. Few^ fishermen can separate force from 
quickness of motion. They seem to throw all 
their strength of muscle into the jerk to render 
't a quick one. ]^ever use your arm in making 
the strike, only your wrist; then will the difii- 
culty be overcome. Look behind you before 
making a long cast, to see whether limbs or 
bushes are there to be avoided. 

" 'No description with pen or tongue can teach 
you how" to cast the fly. Accompany an expert, 



224 BODINES. 

and watch him. You will learn more in one les- 
son of this character than can be gleaned from 
reading volumes of fishing-books." 

"Why do ilj-fishermen taboo bait-fishing? I 
could never understand that, exactly. They all 
seem to be ashamed to acknowledge that they 
ever use bait." 

" Fly-fishing might be styled the poetry of 
angling. It is as superior to fishing with a squirm- 
ing, filthy worm as true sculpture is to grave- 
stone-making, or as the work of the artist is 
above that performed by the man who white- 
washes your kitchen ceiling. Any fellow can 
impale a miserable worm upon a hook, and, by 
its writhings, entice a fish to nibble at it. But 
it requires a quick eye, a tranquil nerve, and 
superior judgment to cast a fly so as to deceive 
the wary trout. I do not object to taking fish 
with a worm, for food, if hard pressed, but for 
sport, — never ! There is nothing disreputable in 
fishing with a worm ; by no means. But I do 
not enjoy that sort of thing; therefore never en- 
gage in it. 

" I am aware that many fishermen are ashamed 
to acknowledge their use of the worm, and will 
quickly change it for a fly when they see a fly- 
fisherman approaching, or will remove it, substi- 
tuting a leader and flies just before coming in at 
night, and then declare every blessed fish to 
have been taken on a fly. That is all right ; I 



I 



SUNDAY IN CAMP. 



225 



approve the method ; glad they are ashamed of 
it, — they will the more likely become expert fly- 
casters, some day, I'm sure." 

There is no telling how long this might have 
continued had not Way and Fritz brought it to a 
termination with their usual pranks. 

The first was shouting from the point to have 
us come see the big sucker he had caught in the 
" eagle's-claw trap," while the younger urchin 
chased a red squirrel over us that barely made 
his escape up the beech. 

" It's just old bully to be in camp on Sunday," 
Fritz said, as he stood looking at the squirrel 
above his head ; " a feller don't need to be all 
dressed up and keep* so awful clean, and we can 
' hoop-her-up' all we want to ;" then, with a reg- 
ular war-whoop, he ran to join his brother, who 
was having all sorts of fun with the suckers 
down by the point. 







K* 



CHAPTER XIV. 

AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE. 
Chftts containing Information and Amusement. 

" I LOST a fine one tins morning," Thad Jr. 
observed, as tie joined the group enjoying their 
pipes about the camp-fire after the evening meal 
had been eaten. '' I do not know why it is," he 
continued, " but I almost invariably miss the 
trout that come to the middle fly." 

" Follow your father's plan, — cast but two flies. 
I used to be troubled in the same manner before 
I tried that," Hamlin said, who then rose and 
placed his stool on the windward side of the fire 
to escape the smoke that was pouring into his 
face. 

" How does that obviate the trouble complained 
of?" Charles queried. 

" I will tell you : when you use three flies, as 
is the custom with all fishermen that I have yet 
met, the middle one is continually clinging to 
your leader, because of its being under water. 
Your ^ dropper' is kept on top the water so that 
the fly is necessarily free from the line, while the 
end one is equally unencumbered, and therefore 
readily grasped by the trout ; but let him rise to 

226 



AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE. 227 

the middle one, and he will usually fail in secur- 
ing it, because of its adherence to the leader." 

" The very trouble I have had myself," Sand- 
ers said, " and strange that I should not have 
thought of the cause ; I believe the difficulty to 
have been entirely due to what you have sug- 
gested. I shall certainly use but two flies here- 
after." 

" Sanders, what did you do on Tim Gray's run 
to-day," one of the party inquired. 

" ^N^othing of consequence ; too much sawdust 
runnino; below the mill now. ]^ever cauo'ht a 
trout from the mouth of the stream up to the 
mill. Oh, how I used to lay them out over that 
ground a few years ago ! No better Ashing could 
be found in this region; it beat the Sugar Bottom, 
even. I went up as high as tlie splash-dam to- 
day and caught forty, of regulation size. Return- 
ing, I fished on the main stream, capturing my 
largest ones at the mouth of Tim Gray's and 
under Du Bois's dam." 

'^ Did you walk all the way back to camp, or 
take the cars at Field's ?" 

" Footed it all the way. It isn't a very long 
walk : about four miles from the mouth of Tim 
Gray's." 

Hamlin again shifted his seat, fanning the 
smoke with his hat, and, after getting his breath, 
remarked, — 

"I have never seen any one yet that could find 



228 BODINES. 

the breathing side of a camp-fire ; go where you 
will the smoke will follow you up, either blind- 
ing or smothering you, if you sit still long 
enough. I don't wonder the punkies skedaddle 
under such a smudge as that." 

" Come to our side," said Robert ; " the wind 
hasn't been in this direction for the half-hour I've 
been sitting here, and the fire is burning and 
crackling beautifully. Just see how the broad 
leaves, at the very top of the trees, wave under 
the influence of the ascending heat." 

Hamlin dodged through the smoke to secure a 
seat by Robert's side ; and in less than two min- 
utes you couldn't see either one for the blue 
smoke that was gracefully curling around them. 
In a minute, Hamlin appeared at the right of the 
fire, hat in hand, which he flourished desperately 
in his wake, and pufiing like a porpoise. "With 
tears running down his cheeks in torrents, he 
finally found voice to say, — 

"A blessed good move that, Robert; glad I 
came over ; any other spot about this fire you can 
recommend ? Guess I'll try a back seat for a 
while, — long enough to take a half-dozen breaths, 
anyway. When you find another real nice place 
just call me;" saying which, he walked into the 
darkness, toward the ice-chest, where he was 
heard to strike a match and then exclaim, " I 
say, Sanders, your fish seem to be soft. You 
didn't dress them early enough, did you ?" 



AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE. 229 

''Ko, I did not; that's a fact. They should 
have been cleaned at noon, but I did not take 
time to do it, I was in such a hurry to reach the 
main stream." 

"Fish keep the best that are immediately 
cleaned," Charles observed. 

" So they do," Hamlin said ; " but to keep 
trout well, dress them the moment they are 
caught, and wipe them dry. I have kept trout 
fresh and nice for several days in a cool cellar, 
without ice, by wiping them thoroughly dry, and 
rubbing a small quantity of salt along their back- 
bones. They should not be piled one on top the 
other, but spread out on pans or boards on the 
cellar floor. In the woods I prepare them in the 
same manner, placing dry grass over each layer 
of trout in the creel. You will be surprised to 
see how long and well they will keep." 

" Sugar is good to rub them with, I've heard," 
Robert remarked. 

" It is not so good as salt ; I've tried both," 
Hamlin said. " But you must be careful not to 
use too much, else will the flavor of the fish be 
destroyed." 

'' Oh, doctor ! I caught one of those four trout 
you pointed out to me this morning under the 
log at the foot of the leaning tree," Charles inter- 
rupted. " He had a Hamlin fly in his upper jaw. 
You had a splendid hold on him that would have 
brought him to shore had the gut not parted." 

20 



230 



BODINES. 



" What did you take him on ?' 



a 



The Hamlin. 



" The deuce you did ! Why, I tossed that fly 
to him at intervals during most of the afternoon; 
he snatched one from my leader, and I supposed 
he would prefer a change of diet when he did 
take hold ao^ain. How lar2:e is he ?" 

" Oh, about twelve inches, I guess." 

" Why, he's a nice one, and must have given 
you considerable sport." 

" Indeed he did ; and I believe I shouted ac- 
cording to the approved method of anglers in this 
camp ; didn't you hear me ?" 

^' I heard what I took to be a two-year-old bull 
bellowing up there, somewhere, about noon." 

" That was me !" 

" How comes it that none of you fishermen 
carry liquor? All Murphyites ?" Robert inquired. 

" Perhaps the introduction of my tea-pot had 
something to do with banishing liquor from this 
camp," I replied. " When I first began fish- 
ing, I arrayed myself in all the paraphernalia 
recommended as necessary by friends. Among 
other things was a flask of whiskey, to be used as 
a preventive against taking cold. I invariably 
came in at night with a headache, attributed to 
too violent exercise. I was quite willing to ac- 
cept this solution of the cause, and continued the 
stimulant, taking a mouthful at our nooning and 
another upon leaving the stream, or when much 



AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE. 281 

fatigued. The headaches continuing, I surmised 
that the liquor was at the bottom of it, and aban- 
doned it entirely. I gave my flask to a preacher 
(to carry cold tea in), then had this tea-pot made, 
— a simple device you see ; only a tall tin mug, 
capable of containing about three pints, with a 
handle riveted on (not soldered), and two holes 
punched just under the rim, through which 
a piece of copper wire is passed, to serve as a 
bale. This I hang to the strap of my creel be- 
hind, where it is out of the way. To accompany 
it, I have two muslin bags with drawing-strings 
at their mouths ; in one I put a double handful 
of black tea, in the other the same quantity of 
granulated sugar. These I place in one of the 
pockets of my fishing-jacket, ^ow, when my 
companion and I come to our nooning, we first 
build a fire, covering it plentifully with wood, 
and, while it is burning to coals, dress our fish, 
wipe them dry, and stow them away in our creels; 
saving the smallest ones for dinner, cooking them 
in " 

" Going to tell how to prepare those delicious 
fish we had for dinner yesterday V Charles inter- 
rupted. 

'^ Yes, thought I would : we carry with us 
sheets of fine, soft paper (known as tissue Ma- 
nilla), which are smeared with the butter, carried 
in a small box thrown in the creel. The trout are 
all well seasoned (and for this purpose we carry 



232 



BODINES. 



a small box of Cayenne pepper and salt, mixed), 
and every one rolled up separately in a piece of 
the buttered paper. Hamlin and I usually require 
twenty trout, about six inches long. They are 
then placed in a pile and enveloped with another 
piece of paper, rolling them into one snug pack- 
age. A piece of newspaper is wrapped about 
the bundle, and is held in the creek for five min- 
utes, or long enough to completely saturate the 
enveloping paper. By this time your fire is 
burned down to a bed of coals. Scrape a hole in 
the centre of them, and there bury the roll of 
fish under the glowing embers. If the package 
is as large as Hamlin and I make, let them re- 
main twenty minutes. While they are cooking, 
put your tea-pot on, full of water. Wlien it boils 
set it oft', and place in it about a heaping table- 
spoonful of tea. Cover the pot with a flat stone. 
Let it steep ten minutes or more, and your dinner 
is ready." 

" Don't the trout burn ?" 

"!N'ot at all; the outside paper will be scorched, 
but the one enveloping the fish is untouched by 
the fire. Seating ourselves on the bank, in the 
shade, we place the bundle of fish on a flat stone 
that must serve for a plate, and take them from 
the package hot, as they are needed. Every spot 
and marking on them remains as bright and per- 
fect as before they entered the fire. Indeed, they 
do not appear as though cooked at all ; but just 



AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE. 233 

take a bite out of one ! Such a delicious morsel 
you never had dissolve in your mouth before, I 
will venture to assert." 

" That's so, by George !" Hamlin said, who 
again approached the group from the region of 
darkness. " I wish we had some now ; the very 
thought of them makes my mouth water." 

" Then the tea is such a ' rester.' After drink- 
ing it, we feel as though the work for the day 
had but begun. Is not that so, Hamlin ?" 

" That it is. I don't want any whiskey on the 
stream, if I can get within reach of the doctor's 
tea-pot ; and I always manage to, by noon, even 
if I have to " 

The remaining portion of the sentence was lost 
in smoke, for that contrary wind struck Hamlin 
again, banishing him to his seat in the darkness, 
from whence we now and then heard a grunt of 
satisfaction as he whiifed away at his pipe. 

" What do you have for luncheon beside fish 
and tea ?" Robert asked. 

^' In my lunch-box I carry a chunk of bread, 
a doughnut or two, a few pickles, or anything else 
our larder affords or fancy suggests. By the way, 
I promised to show you that lunch-box, Charles. 
I say, George !" 

"Ay, ay, sir !" 

" Bring my creel from the large beech, will 
you, please ?" 

" Yes, sir !" 

20* 



234 



BODINES. 



" There ; that is a contrivance I had fastened 
to the back of my creel, partaking, as you ob- 
serve, of the shape of the creel, and projecting 
backward just two and a half inches. In short, 
it is simply a tin box, two and a half inches thick 
and as large as the back of the creel, to whicli it 
is fastened with copper rivets. It opens on top . 
with a lid, and will hold enough luncheon for two 
persons, keeping it dry and unbroken." 

" That looks all right," Charles said, " but I 
carry luncheon in my creel, done up in a piece of 
oiled silk. I throw my lish on top until noon, 
without their coming in contact with it." 

" Yes, that is a good plan, but not so cleanly 
nor convenient as the lunch-box arrangement." 

" Halloo ! there's a light on the pond. Some 
one's coming to camp," Hamlin proclaimed from 
out the darkness. 

" Yes, I hear the paddle," Eobert remarked 
from the point, whither he had gone for a better 
view. "It's the squire: I recognize his voice; 
some one with him, too." 

Soon the boat, with its occupants, reached the 
landing, when Squire Bodine and Harry Green 
stepped ashore. They were bidden welcome, 
supplied with pipes, and the conversation went 
on. Said the squire, — 

" Shorty and tw^o men from Williamsport came 
from Pleasant Stream to-night with nine hun- 
dred trout." 



AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE. 235 

" Nine hundred !" was the chorus that greeted 
the declaration. 

"Yes, sirs, nine hundred! and not one of 
them over four inches long." 

"What a confounded shame!" Sanders said. 
" I wish we could manage to have such lishing as 
that stopped ; but I suppose it can't he done. A 
party from Elmira took about six hundred of the 
same size last week; it is amazing to see the 
number of small trout that splendid stream af- 
fords." 

" If we had a law, — one that could be enforced," 
— the squire observed, "to prohibit catching the 
small fry, and to prevent netting, seining, and 
snaring on these waters, no such iishing-grounds 
could be found anywhere." 

" True enough, squire. So they snare them 
too, do they ?" I asked. 

" Of course they do. Wh}^, don't you remem- 
ber that big, fat fellow that used to work just 
below here every summer ?" 

" What, Fuller ? Oh, yes ; I remember him." 

" Well, he always waited until the creek was 
very low, late in August, when all the big trout 
were settled in the deep holes, or out on their 
spawning-beds; then he'd go and snare them. 
They say he has taken as high as twelve trout, 
from fourteen to eighteen inches long, out of one 
hole, just below the dam." 

" I wonder we have any large trout in the 



236 



BODINES. 



creek after such operations/' I said. " He car- 
ried me up Tim Gray's last summer, and told of 
some sucli exploits. Said he could snare large 
trout easier than suckers, and even prided him- 
self upon the accomplishment. Why, in the 
name of all that's wonderful, did you not have 
him punished, squire ?" 

" Easier said than done. E'o one would com- 
plain of him, and I never saw him at it myself. 
The people here are afraid to make complaint for 
fear of exciting quarrels and bad feeling among 
neighbors." 

'' The remedy indicated, therefore, is to send a 
game-constable here, to w^atch and bring to trial 
and punishment all such offenders against law 
and honest angling. Perhaps this could be ar- 
ranged by forming a club of fishermen from 
among those visiting these streams, and then hire 
a man for such a purpose." 

" That's it ! That's just the thing to do !" the 
squire exclaimed ; " and if carried into effect, 
no better fishing could be found anywhere than 
right here, on this creek." 

" I was on the stream to-day, doctor," Harry 
said. " Tried my best to catch up with you and 
Mr. Hamlin, but my feet hurt me so I couldn't 
walk well." 

" Catch many ?" 

" I took one nice one from your favorite pool 
by the meadow." 



AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE. 237 

" How large ?" 

" Thirteen inches." 

" That makes more than a dozen trout of thir- 
teen inches and better, taken from this one pool 
durins: the week. N^ot bad fishins^ that, Harrv.*' 

" No, sir ; not at all. Plenty of fish here for 
those who know how to take them. It always 
amuses me to hear the green fishermen declare 
these streams to be ' played out,' when they come 
in at night with empty creels. For my part, I'm 
glad to have them think so. I notice, though, 
that you and Mr. Hamlin have no trouble in 
catching all you want." 

" What caused your feet to pain you so, 
Harry ?" 

" I cut holes in the toes of my shoes — confound 
it! — to let the water out; it not only answered 
that purpose, but let sand and gravel in too, blis- 
tering and chafing my feet fearfully." 

" That is a very common blunder to commit by 
amateur waders. A wadino; shoe should never 
be mutilated ; no holes or slits allowed anywhere 
upon its surface, through which sand and gravel 
may gain admission between shoe and foot." 

" That's so, doctor," Charles said ; " I had a 
very uncomfortable experience of that kind my- 
self. Last season I purchased a pair of brogans 
to wade in here, and, at the suggestion of some 
booby, slit the toes to let the water out. I threw 
them away after the first trial, coming in from a 



238 BODINES. 

lialf-clay of iisliing with my socks full of sand and 
my feet blistered. Since then I never lose an 
opportunity to warn people against that absurd 
practice." 

'' I could have killed a deer as slick as a whistle 
to-day if I 'd a gun with me," said Harry. 

" I often wonder that some ingenious gun- 
maker does not invent a very light, short, single- 
barrelled, breech-loading shot-gun for fishermen's 
use," Sanders observed. "I have often felt the 
need of such an arm. Scarcely a day passes, 
when on the stream, that I do not meet wild ani- 
mals of some sort, that could be captured with 
such a gun. To-day, for instance, I could have 
killed a dozen young black squirrels that were 
almost full grow^n. What an excellent supper 
they would have made for us, eh?" 

" Such an arm would be a great convenience 
to fishermen, that is true, Sanders," I said. " I 
would like one myself with which to secure 
specimens of birds. It should be very light, 
however, and made to sling over the back. I 
shall seek to have one made for next season." 

"What have you been up to to-day, doctor?" 
the squire asked. 

" Hamlin and I were out from five until dark. 
Went up as far as the Slope Wall. Caught a 
dozen each, — none under eight inches, and two 
of twelve. I find the late afternoon fishing the 
best just now. We take all we need for the table 



AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE. 239 

in two or three hours daily. We rarely cast 
longer, unless we go on to Pleasant Stream or 
Tim Gray's, to make a day of it. Now and then 
a trip is taken far up or down the main stream, 
to enjoy a nooning of steamed trout. Hamlin 
is very partial to Bloody Run for this purpose, 
where we also gather wild-flowers in the many 
cosy nooks up there." 

''Well, come, Harry," the squire said, rising 
and moving toward the boat; "the whip-poor- 
wills have stopped singing some time ago, and it 
must be nigh unto ten o'clock, — we had better be 
paddling down the pond." 

" All right, squire ; I'll light the lamp, then 
we'll be oiF." 

Soon they were gliding swiftly down the stream, 
under the impulse of the squire's strong arm. We 
watched them as their light became less and less 
distinct, until it disappeared behind the bank at 
the old mill. Then we heard the boat touch the 
shore, the paddle drop, and the couple leap on 
shore, at which all turned toward the tent and 
prepared for bed. - 

" Don't bring that lamp in here!" shouted one. 
" It will attract every mosquito and punkey on 
the island to the tent." 

" Where's my night-shirt ?" 

" Who's moved my satchel ?'^ 

"What in fury did George do with my other 
blanket ?" 



240 BODINES. 



^! 



These and similar queries greeted my ears as I 
stowed myself away for the night. 

At last, all were in bed, the light extinguished 
by George, the '' good-nights" all said, the short 
queries replied to, the jokes cracked, when the 
long, sonorous breaths of one or two indicated 
that sleep had already come to them ; then 
Charles bounded from the bed and groped his 
way to the door. 

"■ What the deuce is up now ?" his bedfellow 
queried. 

" I am," Charles said ; " I forgot my bath, and 
I'm so confoundedly hot I'm going to take a swim 
in the creek to cool off!" 

"What! not now?" 

Splash ! was the only answer heard, as Charles 
plunged headlong into the. creek. 

Hamlin got restless, turned over and over in 
bed, and declared a corn-cob had gotten into the 
straw in his tick. 

Robert threw off a blanket or two and re- 
marked upon the oppressiveness of the air. Pres- 
wick was the only quiet one in the lot, and slept 
like a baby until Charles returned and mopped 
all our faces with his big sponge, almost frighten- 
ing the sleeper out of his wits, as the soggy thing 
startled him from his sound nap. 

" Keep quiet, bubby," was Charles's soothing 
remark as the cooling process was administered 
to every head and face. 



AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE. 241 

Quietness was once more restored, we were all 
peacefully snoozing when something fell, spat! 
upon the roof of the tent, scrambled over, and 
dropped upon the ground. 

" ;N'ow, what ?" Robert asks, sitting bolt up- 
right in bed and punching me in the ribs with 
his elbow. 

^' Nothing but a flying-squirrel. Do keep quiet ; 
he won't trouble us ; that is one of his favorite 
amusements." 

"Flying-squirrel? Scrabbling-squirrel would 
be a much better name for him. How long does 
he mean to perform ?" 

"Oh, that's his last appearance for to-night, so 
cuddle down and go to sleep." 

Quietness once more, but of short duration, for 
Thad Jr. sprang up and danced about the tent, 
switching his night-gown about his legs, declaring 
that something alive was crawling up his back. 

"What is it^, Thad?" 

" Goodness ! I don't know ; but he scratches 
as though his nails had not been trimmed lately, 
whoever or whatever he is. Get him off of me, 
somebody, do !" 

" Take him on a fly, Thad." " Snare him," 
and similar suggestions were made, and George 
was called to for a light. All were now thor- 
oughly awake and speculating upon the char- 
acter of the beast. Hamlin suggested a rattle- 
snake. Robert thought it a porcupine. Sanders 
L 21 



242 BODINES. 

wondered whether the woodchuck was out for- 
aging. Charles concluded a bullhead had left 
the pond in search of his mate, that he had cap- 
tured during the day. Preswick thought it might 
be a skunk. Fritz, who by this time was also 
aroused, wandered dreamily into our tent, and 
rubbing his eyes with both fists said, — 

." Say, Thad, I know jes what 'tis, — it's my 
china-aster-mole and I want him for Jim, 'cause 
he's had no fun since he left. Stan' still jes a 
minute, won't yer ? and let a feller look for him." 

There's no telling where these observations 
would have ended or what sort of a menao:erie 
would have been accumulated had not George 
arrived with the light, revealing Thad standing 
in the middle of the tent, holding his shirt far 
from his body, and jerking it vigorously to throw 
the intruder off. 

A search was at once instituted, when a fright- 
ened little deer-mouse was found perched upon a 
fold of his garment, trembling in every limb, 
and looking for a good place to get out. After 
chasing him up and down Thad's back for some 
minutes, he was finally captured and carried from 
the tent. Thad declared, as he shook out and 
stirred up his bedclothes, that he would not lie 
on the ground another night, but would place his 
bed on stilts as soon as the morning dawned. 

Another half-hour was passed in commenting 
upon the behavior of the mouse, and wonder- 



AROUND THE CAMP FIRE. 



243 



in 2:8 as to what lie could have been in search 
of, the final observation being lost in the snore 
of my bedfellow, the continued monotony and 
weariness of which at last lulled me to refresh- 
ing sleep. 




CHAPTER XY. 

CUISINE. 
"With a Sort of Medical and Surgical Appendix. 

" I NEVER ate better johnny-cake than that," 
Charles observed, as he rose from the breakfast- 
table, taking down his meerschaum from a bracket 
on the post and filling it. " Indeed, the cook- 
ing is all good, and surprises me that it can be 
accomplished with so few conveniences. I really 
think, doctor, you should print a little manual 
on camp-cooking for the benefit of those you 
have already instilled with notions of camp-life. 
N^ext season I mean to encamp on the Delaware 
Water Gap with my family, and would like to get 
an insight into the cooking business." 

'' Our bill of fare is very simple, Charles, but 
excellent in quality and flavor. I could teach you 
very easily how to prepare all the dishes that are 
served here, when, I have no doubt, you would 
be surprised at the simplicity of the transaction. 

" What is most needed in camp-cooking is a 
good fire ; and I am satisfied, after many trials 
of cook-stoves devised for this purpose, that the 
very best thing that can be used is our fireplace 
yonder. 

244 



CUISINE. 245 

" We have a Dunklee camp-stove and two 
forms of kerosene-stoves down at the farm-house, 
which have heen abandoned for that open fire we 
are now using with so much success. Camp- 
stoves are too small to do the cooking for three 
or four persons, if you desire any variety in your 
fare. Kerosene-stoves have the same fault, and 
are too troublesome and quite inadequate. Our 
ancestors knew what they were about when cook- 
ing over a fireplace similar to ours, using Dutch 
ovens in which to bake, and skillets and pots for 
frying and boiling. In the Dutch oven we bake 
excellent biscuit and johnny-cake, while as a 
means of roasting beef, baking puddings, beans, 
etc., it cannot be surpassed. In the beginning 
of our camp experiences we built a fire between 
two logs, setting our frying-pans, coffee-pot, and 
boiler in the depression between them, the fire 
blazing up between the logs, and doing our cook- 
ing for us quite well. The difiiculty with that 
arrangement was, the logs soon burned out, re- 
quiring frequent renewal, which circumstance led 
to the adoption of the two iron bars, and they are 
simply perfect. There, you see, is room for three 
frying-pans, a potato-boiler, coffee-pot, and stew- 
ing-kettle, while the Dutch oven rests upon the 
hearth, with coals under and on top of it, giving 
as much cooking space as is affbrded on the tops 
of the largest stoves. Then, the fire is so easily 
managed. George builds up a large one an hour 

21* 



246 BODINES. 

before the cooking is commenced, piling the wood 
under and on top of the bars, so that when it 
is burned down, a fine bed of coals occupies the 
space underneath, when he is capable of cooking 
anything^ in my opinion, better than can be done 
on any stove in Christendom. ItTever use a 
blazins: fire; it burns and blackens vour uten- 
sils, smokes your food, and sets your fat on fire. 

" If you like I will give you a few details of 
our cooking arrangements." 

" Certainly, go on ; I'm listening with all my 
might," said Charles, stretching himself out on 
the bench, and watching the blue rings of smoke 
ascending from his pipe. 

" Well, you already know how the fireplace is 
built, — with stones piled up, covered with sods 
to prevent their bursting and flying into your 
dishes when hot, the two iron bars over the top, 
the large flat stone for a hearth, and " 

"Yes, yes, I understand all that," he inter- 
rupted. 

'•' Very good ; you see that chunk of fat pork 
spiked to the tree, near the fireplace ?" 

" Indeed do I, and wondered the first day I 
came here what the deuce it was there for." 

" That is for convenience. All George has to 
do is to slice what is required for cooking pur- 
poses from the lower end of the chunk ; then he 
always knows where to find it ; the weather does 
not damage it in the least, and we use it for 



CUISINE. 247 

frying our fish principally, cutting a very thin 
slice, placing it in a hot pan until the lard is all 
extracted, then laying them in it. The fish are 
first rolled in Indian meal, which gives them the 
brown color. George has a theory that it is best 
not to salt your trout until nearly done, as the salt 
prevents browning. 

" But I have a sort of camp-made recipe book 
which I have prepared at odd intervals, here in 
camp, with the aid of my wife, which treats en- 
tirely of dishes suitable to our wants. If you 
desire you can have it copied, when I think all 
your needs in that direction will be supplied. It 
contains information upon preparing dishes mostly 
adapted to all of the summer months. When 
Hamlin and I first commenced camping here 
I did the cooking myself. I soon found that 
altogether too laborious. I liked to cook well 

c5 

enough but detested the dish- washing. Hamlin 
liked . that occupation no better than I, and we 
soon began stealing away after dinner, with a 
cock-and-bull story of a large trout that claimed 
immediate attention somewhere in the neigh- 
borhood, leaving the dishes and pans for the 
remaining one to wash. This happened so 
frequently that some one became necessary for 
our comfort and cleanliness, so we now take 
George with us, and find it keeps him continually 
occupied in ministering to our wants. But here 
is the little manual referred to." 



2^8 BODINES. 



CAMP EECIPES. 



JOHNNY-CAKE. 

Stir into a pint of corn-meal enough sweet 
milk to render it of the consistence of a '' batter." 
Beat up two eggs ; dissolve a well-filled teaspoon 
of baking powder in a little milk, then add eggs 
and the solution to the batter. Stir the mixture 
thoroughly, adding a tablespoonful of brown 
sugar dissolved in a little water, and a teaspoon- 
ful of salt. Get jour Dutch oven hot by placing 
coals under it and on the lid. Grease it well with 
a piece of pork. Stir your batter again, rapidly, 
and turn into the oven. When well browned on 
top it is done — and delicious. If you have no 
milk, try it this way : 

Take same quantity of meal, pour boiling water 
over it until quite wet. Add a tablespoonful of 
dissolved sugar, a teaspoonful of salt, a table- 
spoonful of melted butter, and two well-beaten 
eggs. Mix thoroughly. Heat and grease the oven 
as before, placing the mixture on the bottom, 
about an inch deep. Bake until brown. It's 
good. 

BISCUIT. 

One quart wheat flour ; three teaspoonfuls bak- 
ing powder ; one teaspoonful salt. Mix all (dry) 



CUISINE. 249 

thoroughly ; then add butter the size of a hen's 
Qgg^ and enough sweet milk to make a soft 
dough; knead thoroughly, and roll out (Avith a 
champagne bottle) to half an inch in thickness. 
Have your Dutch oven hot, grease it, then cut 
your dough with a tumbler and place the pieces 
in the oven. Bake twenty minutes. Ko woman 
in the land can make a better biscuit than can 
be made in that way. 



GRIDDLE CAKES. 

Of Corn Meal. — One pint corn-meal ; half cup 
of wheat flour ; one teaspoonful salt; oneteaspoon- 
ful baking powder ; two beaten eggs. Mix with 
enough sweet milk to make a batter. Place your 
large, long-handled frying-pan on the fire, and 
grease it with a chunk of fat pork fastened in a 
split stick. When pan is hot, dip the batter in with 
large iron spoon, forming a half-dozen small cakes. 
Turn with your butcher knife. Or, cover the bot- 
tom of the pan with batter, forming one large 
cake ; when done on one side, flop it over on the 
other. It's fun when 3^ou become expert at it. 
If milk is not at hand, try it this way : 
One pint meal, which scald with boiling water ; 
mix with it half a teacupful of wheat flour, a 
teaspoonful salt, an even teaspoonful of soda (con- 
found the stuiF! — don't get too much), one beaten 

L* 



250 BODINES. 

eiJ:2:. Add enouo:h water to make a batter. Bake 
as before. 

Of Wheat Flour. — Three pints flour; two 
teaspoonfuls baking powder; four tablespoon- 
fuls melted butter ; three well-beaten eggs ; one 
teaspoonful salt. Add enough sweet milk to form 
a batter. Dissolve the baking powder in a little 
milk and stir it in the very last thing. Bake as 
you did the others. 

I would tell you how to make them without 
milk, but blamed if I know. 



MILK TOAST. 

Oh, pshaAv ! any fellow knows how to make 
that ! Just toast your bread and pour hot milk 
over it, in which you have placed a chunk of but- 
ter and some salt. That's easy. 



That will be in the bread line, now let us 
tackle the 

POTATOES. 
Keep a good supply of them on hand ; better 
get out of bread than potatoes. First let us have 
them boiled — with their jackets on. Never peel 
a potato to boil it. Wash, and put them in your 
boiler with cold water. When they have boiled 
long enough to let a fork go into them, pour the 
water off, allowing them to remain in the boiler 



CUISINE. 251 

near the fire. "When they crack open, "go for 
'em," as Fritz says. If there is anything hetter 
than a boiled potato for breakfast, Hamlin and I 
have never discovered it. Boil all your vessel 
will hold. Then pare, slice, and fry the remain- 
ing ones with salt pork for supper. They are de- 
licious with fried fish. To bake them, put them 
in your Dutch oven, and, when done, take them 
out again. I^othing easier. 

If you want to 

Fry Raw Potatoes, peel, cut into very thin 
slices, then allow them to lie in cold water for 
several hours (overnight is best). Fry out enough 
of the salt pork to give you quite a depth of hot 
fat in your pan. Take the slices of potatoes out 
of the water, dry in a towel, and drop them into 
the hot fat, one at a time. When quite brown 
take out, and eat them. 

When you have a quantity of cold, boiled po- 
tatoes, slice them, and 

Warm them in Milk, with pepper, salt, and a 
chunk of butter. Set them off as soon as they 
come to a boil. This will do for the potatoes. 



Kow as to the 

FISH. 

I have already indicated how they may be fried, 
and in another place have spoken of steaming 



252 BODINES. 

them in rolls of paper placed under the coals. I 
know of no better way to cook trout, unless they 
be very large. Should you be fortunate enough 
to catch a fifteen-incher, roll him up in a cloth 
and boil in a kettle of water, well salted. Wlien 
done, place the fish in a dish and cover with 
'' drawn butter." This is made by beating two 
tablespoonfuls of flour and a cup of butter to a 
cream, over which a pint of boiling water is 
poured. Set it on the fire and let it come to a 
boil, when it is done. The trout may not like 
this dressing, but you will. 

Eels. — Skin, score, and fry them. (I insist 
upon the skinning.) 

Another good way, making a most delicious 
morsel, is to remove the backbone, cut the eel 
into pieces about two inches long, covering them 
in water, adding a teaspoonful of strong vinegar, 
or a slice of lemon ; cover the stew-pan, boil half 
an hour, pour the water off, drain, return to the 
pan, supplying fresh water and vinegar as before, 
and boil until tender ; drain, then add cream (if 
it is to be had) or milk enough to make a re- 
spectable stew. Season with pepper and salt (no 
butter), boil again for a few minutes, and serve 
upon hot, dry toast. Goodness, but it's good ! 
Just try it! E"ow for a 

Fish Chowder. — Cover the bottom of your 
boiler with slices of pickled pork that have been 
slightly fried. Over this place a layer of trout 



CUISINE. 253 

that have had their backbones removed. Over 
the fish strew a light layer of chopped onions, 
one of sliced potatoes, then another of split 
crackers, the whole well sprinkled with pepper 
and salt. Kepeat this with another layer of fish, 
onions, potatoes, crackers, and seasoning until 
the chowder has assumed the proportions desired. 
Sprinkle flour over the top of all, then pour over 
enough water to just cover the mixture. Place 
on a slow fire and stew gently. Tliree-quarters 
of an hour Avill cook one of moderate size. Then 
take up the chowder and thicken the gravy with 
a tablespoonful of flour rubbed into a teacupful 
of butter. Bring to a boil, and pour over the 
chowder. Add a little sherry to the gravy, if 
you have it in camp. Very good, but not recom- 
mended for dyspeptics. 



GAME AND CHICKEN. 

If you are in a region of game, and can kill a 
duck, partridge, or pigeon now and then, a 
primitive way to roast them, and one that is quite 
satisfactory, is to draw the duck or partridge, 
allowing the feathers to remain. Inside the bird 
place a slice of pickled pork, pepper and salt. 
'Now smear the bird all over with wet clay, and 
when completely enveloped, cover him in the hot 
coals. Let him remain a half-hour or more, 
then break the clay open, when the feathers will 

22 



254 BODINES. 

adhere to the shell, completely skinning the bird, 
permitting it to roll upon your plate hot and 
savory. Then eat it. Small birds can be split 
down the back, well seasoned, and broiled over 
the hot coals. When done, smear them with but- 
ter and serve on toast. Partridge or chicken 
will be found nice when placed in the pot, well 
seasoned, covered with water, a lid put over the 
pot, then allowed to simmer for about two hours. 
Stir in a tablespoonful of flour and two of catsup, 
then simmer another half-hour. Don't know 
what you call it when done, — a sort of stew per- 
haps, — but I do know it to be excellent as an 
article of diet. 

A Fricassee of Chicken is made by cutting 
the fowl into pieces, parboiling them in water 
enough to cover. When tender, remove from the 
pot and drain. Fry two or three slices of pickled 
pork, brown. Sprinkle the pieces of chicken 
with salt, pepper, and flour, and fry to a dark 
brown in the pork fat. Take the chicken up, and 
stir into the fat in which it was fried half a cup 
of dry flour, stirring it until it becomes a dark 
brown, then pour on the liquor in which the 
chicken was boiled, bringing the mixture to a 
boil. Place your chicken in a deep dish and 
pour the gravy over it. 

Doesn't that sound good ? 



CUISINE. 255 

I^ow let us see what we can do with 

EGGS. 

First, we can boil them ; any fellow will know 
enough for that, so we will try them 

Scrambled.— Beat up half a dozen eggs, stir- 
ring into them half a cup of milk and a teaspoon- 
ful of butter. Salt and pepper to taste, pour into 
the frying-pan containing a little pork grease, 
hold over the fire and stir until it thickens. 

An Omelet may be constructed by beating up 
three eggs with two tablespoonfuls of milk and 
a little salt. Heat the frying-pan hot, drop into 
it a small piece of butter, and when melted, 
turn in your mixture, holding it over the fire 
until cooked a light brown, when it can be folded 
over and served on a hot dish. 



MEATS. 



Salt Pork. — Cut it into slices, and pour boil- 
ing water over it. Turn ofi" the water and fry 
until brown on both sides. Hamlin says it's fine. 
I take no stock in it myself. 

Ham and Eggs. — Slice the ham ; let it stand 
in boiling water for ten minutes, then fry in the 
pan for ten minutes more. Take the ham up. 
Break the eggs, one at a time, and place in the 
hot ham fat. Fry until the white portion is done. 
Lift out carefully with a spoon, and place the eggs, 
unbroken, on the ham. If you like it — eat it. 



256 



BODINES. 



Beefsteak. — Place it on your broiler, and 
hold over the hot coals, turning frequently, for 
ten minutes. Place on a hot dish, pepper, salt, 
and smear with butter. Serve immediately. 

Beefsteak Smothered in Onions. — Kow we'll 
have a dish that makes me hungry to think of. 
In a large ]3an containing the fat of salt pork 
place half a dozen large, thinly-sliced onions. 
Fry them brown, which process will require an 
hour or more. Then put your steak in the pan, 
covering it with the onions. Place a cover over 
the pan, and fry the steak until done. Take it up, 
spreading the onions over it. This is one of the 
attractions that brings Hamlin to camp every year. 

Yeal Fricassee. — Fry several slices of salt 
pork brown. Take it from the pan, and in the 
fat place your slices of veal. Sprinkle with salt 
and pepper and fry brown, then take it up and 
mix in the pan, with the hot fat, two tablespoon- 
fuls of dry flour. Stir until well browned, then 
add two cups of boiling w^ater, and boil and stir 
for twenty minutes. Pour this gravy over your 
veal and place it before the campers. 



RICE. 



Boiled Rice is a good dish in camp, and al- 
ways acceptable and wholesome. Wash half a 
pint of rice and place in your stew-pan, with 
enough water to cover it well. Salt it, cover, 



CUISINE. 257 

and set the pan in a larger one containing water. 
Boil thirty minutes. The double pan is to pre- 
vent scorching. Serve with sugar and milk. 



TOMATOES. 
Stewed. — If canned, pour them into a stew-pan, 
seasoning with pepper, salt, and a heaping table- 
spoonful of sugar (for a quart can of them). 
Simmer for two hours, until they become quite 
thick. Stir often. When ready to take up, stir 
in a teaspoonful of butter. 



PUDDINGS. 

Of Bread. — Gather up your stale bread, which 
soak for an hour in two quarts of sweet milk. 
Mash the bread fine, removing the lumpy pieces. 
Beat together four eggs, a heaping cupful of 
sugar, a pinch of salt, and a little grated nutmeg. 
Stir this into your bread and milk, adding a few 
raisins. Place this in a two-quart tin pan, which 
set in your Dutch oven, and bake for about three- 
quarters of an hour. 

Of Corn-Starch. — ^Place one quart of milk in 

a basin, which set in your stew-pan, with boiling 

water. "When the milk boils, stir into it four 

tablespoonfuls of corn-starch, mixed in a cup of 

milk, and a pinch of salt. Stir thoroughly, and 

cook for three minutes. Serve with sugar and 

cream or milk. 

22* 



258 BODINES. 

BAKED BEANS. 

Soak a quart of the small pea-beans overnight. 
Pour off the water, and place them over the fire 
with six quarts of cold water and a pound chunk 
of salt pork. Boil half an hour, then drain and 
place in the Dutch oven, gashing the pork with a 
knife, and allowing it to touch the bottom, put- 
ting the beans around it. IN'ow pour over the 
top a tablespoonful of molasses, sprinkling in a 
teaspoonful of salt. Add boiling water, just to 
cover. Bake ten hours, adding water should they 
become dry. 



That bill of fare is sufiiciently elaborate, so let 



us have something to drink. 



COFFEE. 



Buy the best. Take a mixture of Java and 
Mocha, two-thirds of the first to one of the last. 
Take a tablespoonful for each individual, and 
another good, large one for the pot. Mix it in a 
tin cup with an Qgg^ shell and all. Pour a teacup- 
ful of cold water on it, allowing it to stand, cov- 
ered, overnight. In the morning, place it in the 
coflee-pot and pour two coffee-cups of water (for 
each person) over it, and bring to a boil. Set it 
off a few minutes before pouring. 



DRO WNING. 259 

TEA. 

Use the best black tea. Scald out your tea-pot, 
then put in a teaspoonful of tea for each person. 
Pour over it a cup of boiling water. Steep in a 
hot place, — being careful not to allow it to boil. 
In fifteen minutes pour in boiling water enough 
for the party. 

This chapter would not be complete without 
some reference to sickness and accidents. Some- 
times sickness occurs even in the woods. One 
of the party might fracture an arm or leg, en- 
counter the fangs of a venomous snake, or a child 
might fall into the stream and lose its life for lack 
of prompt and judicious treatment. 

In case of drowning, hold the person up by the 
heels for a few seconds, that the water may run 
from the mouth and the tongue fall forward, 
leaving entrance to windpipe clear. Let others 
prepare warm blankets, — if to be had, ^otherwise, 
any covering, wiping the body dry and applying 
friction to chest and limbs with the hands. If 
the patient does not breathe freely, lose no time 
in aiding him in the following manner : Take 
hold of his right arm, extending it above his 
head, at the same time rolling him upon his right 
side. Put ammonia (hartshorn) to his nostrils, 
and take hold of his tongue with handkerchief 
or napkin, drawing it well forward. All this, 
while others rub chest and limbs vigorously 



260 BODINES. 

under cover. Allow him to rest on his side while 
you count five, then turn him on his hack, arms 
by his side, count five, turn upon his side again, 
extending arm as before. Repeat these move- 
ments until respiration is established. Let one 
attend to holding the tongue forward, wiping the 
mouth, and applying the ammonia. Another do 
the turning of the body, while the rest of the 
j)arty attend to warming the body with friction, 
blankets, and bottles of hot water. Do not aban- 
don your trials to resuscitate for at least an hour. 



BKOKEN LIMBS 

occurring, select a sapling of as near the size of 
the leg as possible. Take the bark from it in two 
pieces, twelve inches long, or the length of the 
limb above or below the knee. A chestnut sap- 
ling is the best. Cover these two half-round 
splints with pieces of cloth. Rip up the trousers' 
leg with a knife. Tear a strip from a sheet, two 
inches wide, running the entire length. Roll it 
up firmly. You are now supplied with all neces- 
sary appliances to do a first-class job in bone-set- 
ting. Three persons will be required to do the 
job successfully. The patient is lying upon the 
ground. Let the strongest man sit at his feet, 
placing his stockinged foot between his legs at 
their junction, while he grasps the ankle of the 
broken limb with one hand and the foot with the 



RATTLESNAKE BITES. 261 

otlier. ITow exert a steady pull, preventing the 
patient's body moving toward you, with your foot. 
Pull with all your might — it will not hurt him — 
while the " surgeon" of the party presses the bones 
in place with his hands. When they assume their 
natural positions, the fact will be announced by 
a sort of thud, felt by the man at the foot as well 
as the surgeon. Now let the third party apply 
the splints, one in front, the other to the rear. 
Do not let their edges meet by half an inch ; se- 
cure them in place with your roller bandage, 
being careful not to get it too tight. Construct a 
litter of tw^o poles, across which tie broad strips 
of green bark. Carry your patient to camp, or 
to the railway station for home, where a compe- 
tent surgeon Avill attend to him. If a surgeon is 
convenient to camp, these splints will answer 
every purpose, and the patient will do quite as 
well swino:ino: in his hammock as at home. 



RATTLESNAKE BITES 

are best treated by applying a cloth saturated with 
liquor ammonia over the bite, and immediately 
administering large doses of whiskey. Let the 
patient drink all he will hold, or until intoxica- 
tion is induced. Many physicians doubt the 
efficacy of this treatment. I have seen it em- 
ployed in several instances and am confident of 
its success. It acts upon perfectly scientific 



262 BODINES. 

principles, sustaining the nervous system under 
the shock induced by the poison. 



SICKNESS. 

Take with you in a small box, adapted to the 
size of the bottles, the following medicines, put 
up in four-ounce phials, with rubber stoppers : 

Essence of peppermint. 

Paregoric. 

Laudanum. 

Tincture of Jamaica ginger. 

Spirits of camphor. 

Tincture of capsicum. 

Liquor ammonia. 

Take also a bottle of Tarrant's Seltzer Aperi- 
ent, and a bottle of cathartic pills. Seidlitz 
powders cannot be kept in camp. 

Also have prepared the following cough mix- 
ture, to be used in case of '* cold upon the lungs," 
exciting cough : 

R Syrup of squills. 
Syrup of Tolu, 
Sj^rup of ipecac. 

Wine of antimony, of each, one drachm; 
Paregoric, two drachms. 
Mix, and label " Cough Mixture." Dose, ten to 
fifteen drops every two to four hours, as symp- 
toms require. 

For Sprains, mix equal parts from your laud- 



SICKNESS. 263 

anum, camphor, capsicum, and ammonia bottles, 
and rub upon the sore place. Good also for 
rheumatic or neuralgic pains, toothache (applied 
to cavity or gum of tooth), etc. 

For Diarrh(ea. — Take of paregoric and tinc- 
ture of ginger, each, a teaspoonful ; place in a 
little water, and add ten drops tincture of capsi- 
cum. Repeat the dose in two hours, if necessary. 
Should this not arrest the discharges, place a 
tablespoonful of wheat flour in half a cup of 
cold water. Mix thoroughly, adding ten drops 
liquor ammonia. Drink at one dose. Kepeat it 
in a few hours, if necessary. 

For pain in stomach or bowels, take a tea- 
spoonful of tincture ginger and paregoric in a 
little water. 

For colic or belly-ache in children, give sweet- 
ened peppermint water, with five to ten drops of 
paregoric added. 

Those subject to bowel ailments should wear a 
broad, heavy flannel bandage over the abdomen. 
This is particularly advisable in children. 

For Headache. — Eat less, and take a table- 
spoonful of seltzer in a cup of water before 
breakfast. 

For Toothache. — Moisten a pledget of cotton 
with the liquor ammonia and pack the cavity of 
the tooth with it. Or, dip the point of a pine 
stick in the ammonia, then in the tooth cavity. 
The ache will stop instantly. 



264 



BODINES. 




Mosquito, midge, and black fly bites are annoy- 
ing. Apply equal parts of liquor ammonia and 
sweet oil to allay the irritation. To prevent their 
attacks I have found no satisfactory application. 
Tincture of pennyroyal rubbed upon hands, face, 
and neck, is the best preventive I have tried. To 
drive them out of the tent, build a '' smudge" 
and smoke them out before bedtime. Take no 
lio^ht inside afterward to attract them. 

Change your wet clothes for dry ones as soon 
as you come off the stream. Do not sit at your 
meals in wet srarments. Air and sun the bed- 
clothing every day if possible. Do not overeat. 
Do not eat when very tired. Rest first. Drink 
no liquors if you would feel well and have a clear 
head. Coifee and tea are better than wine or 
whiskey. Go to bed early, sleep well, and have 
a good time. Don't get sick if you can help it, 
and take no medicine until you must. 




CHAPTER XVI. 

IDLE HOURS. 

The Sanctum — Communings with Nature — Homeward 

Bound. 

Across the creek, through the clump of wil- 
lows, a pathway has been cut leading to a densely- 
shaded bank where shapely beeches form a grove. 
From among them a tall pine towers, an artistic 
centre-piece to the group below. Against the 
largest tree a plank is secured, serving for a seat. 
Before this seat is driven a green stake, upon 
which rests the head and rim of a cheese-box, 
formins: a convenient writino--desk. This is the 
sanctum from which I am writing. 

A gentle wind is waving the branches about 
me, permitting the entrance of dots of sunshine 
that dance and twinkle over the table and on the 
grass at my feet. Down from the tall pine comes 
a soft, gentle sighing, strangely soothing, inclin- 
ing me to a dreamy revery. Frogs croak in 
the pond; insects chirp among the grass-blades; 
birds sing from the tree-tops, and twitter and 
hop from branch to ground, fearless in their 
sociability. 

Along the mountain road, beyond and above 



M 



23 265 



266 BODINES. 

the camping-grounds, I hear the measured tread 
of horses' hoofs and the dull, rumbling roll of 
wagon-wheels, an occasional thump and grating 
slide revealing the rockiness of the way. Voices 
are heard, every word plainly distinguishable 
while the travellers stop to comment upon the 
beauty of our camp as seen from the mountain 
heights. In some distant field, in the valley be- 
hind me, a farmer plods wearily the furrow, 
scolding and cursing his stupid oxen. 

From below, the dam sends back its steady roar 
and the clattering old mill its grinding, grum- 
bling groans. There, upon a high tree-top, calls 
a robin to his mate, and higher still the lark sings 
cheerily a carol to the perfect day. Butterflies 
wing their way through my bower, and bees 
come laden with their sweets from the blooming 
clover, whose fragrance pervades the air. Honey- 
suckles entwine the bushes before me, daisies be- 
spangle the green sward, and violets greet me 
everywhere. Upon the low ground to my left, 
tall, graceful ferns sway plume-like, in the 
-wind, the maidenhair keeping them company 
beneath. 

From the meadow comes the merry laughter 
of children busy with their play, and from the 
mountain stream the exultant shout of the lucky 
fisherman. Winding through the crooked valley, 
I hear the discordant rattle of approaching cars, 
and now the echoes, from hill to hill, of the loco- 



IDLE HOURS. 267 

motive whistle. Xow and then, the clear metal- 
lic ring from the railwa}^ iron, struck by the 
trackman's hammer, reverberates through the 
valley and along the mountain crags. 

Through the branches of my grove and over 
the tops of the willows that border the creek is 
seen our island home, the white tents peeping 
out from the surrounding bushes. On the small 
island, before the point, stands a tall and graceful 
pole, at the peak of which Dixey has secured a 
w^eather-vane, pointed and fastened permanently 
toward the south, the direction from which comes 
the fairest weather. There also hangs our flag, 
its crimson stripes doubly beautiful against the 
green mountain-side. If I look to my right, 
through the willow branches, I catch the sparkle 
of the suidight upon the rippling water. Over- 
head, at my feet, round about me, rustle and 
tremble the ever-changing leaves. 

Leading from the pathway to the mound where 
I am seated, steps are terraced in the bank. Two 
chipmunks are chasing one another over them 
in rollicking sport. iJ^ow they stop to scrutinize 
the mysterious writer at his desk, approaching in 
short jumps, stopping between the leaps to flirt 
their tails and to chatter their curiosity. Ventur- 
ing a closer inspection, they scamper away when 
I inadvertently move foot or hand, returning 
again, reassured by my quietness, to stare me in 
the face with comical expressions of countenance. 



268 BODINES. 

When I change my position, they run under the 
root of a tree, to their nests, then peer out to see 
what I am next about to do. 

A red-headed woodpecker has just alighted 
upon the pine before me, so close that I could 
touch him with a fishing-rod. He pecks away at 
the bark, then thrusts his long tongue into a 
crevice and draws forth a grub, impaled upon 
its barbed point. A movement reveals to him 
my presence, when he darts from the tree utter- 
ing a wild note of terror. 

Looking about in quest of another acquaint- 
ance, wondering who or what the next one will 
be, I discover a parting of the grass a short dis- 
tance away, and sit perfectly quiet, watching for 
and speculating upon the character of my new 
visitor. He does not keep me long in suspense, 
but bounds directly upon the bare place by the 
terrace, revealing himself, — a woodchuck. At 
sight of him the chipmunks dive into their re- 
treat under the root, giving a peculiar chir-r-r-rip ! 
as they go, leaving me alone with the new-comer. 
He seems to be conscious of an intruder's pres- 
ence upon his domain, for he stops short, sits 
upon his hind legs and snufts the air, grimacing 
queerly the while. Presently he gets a glimpse 
of my scarlet fez, and, as I move my head lei- 
surely from side to side, he imitates the move- 
ment. A bird flies noisily through the bushes, 
at w^hich he takes alarm, scudding away to a 



IDLE HOURS. 2G9 

safer distance, where he stands erect upon his 
hind feet, peering at me over the grass-tops. 

I nod my head to him ; the fez seems to fasci- 
nate him and he returns for another inspection, 
sitting upon his hind feet, holding his black paws 
meekly before him, as would a dog trained to 
" sit up." I move my head again to the right 
and left; he does the same, following the move- 
ment with his bright black eyes. I bow to him, 
— he repeats it quite gracefully, shyly getting 
down upon all-fours preparatory to a successful 
retreat should the movement become at all threat- 
ening. Here we sit and stare, and nod, and wink, 
and " make faces" at one another until a bumble- 
bee comes buzzing about my ears and insists 
upon alighting upon my nose, which familiarity 
I resent by a vigorous sweep of the fez, the 
demonstration causing the chuck to bound into 
the willows with a precipitation and speed cred- 
itable to his short legs. 

Hardly has he departed before several creatures 
claim my attention : a woodcock, alighting among 
the willows on the bank, seems to be endowed 
with a reasoning faculty ; it is unsatisfactory to 
ascribe his behavior to the dictation of instinct, 
for I but now saw him walk, in his dignified 
manner, to a worm-hole, tap with his bill upon 
the ground, when out backs a worm, which he 
secures, and, as he points his bill skyward, clos- 
ing his great round eyes as though giving thanks 



23* 



270 BODINES. 

for the meal, with an effort of deglutition and a 
crooking of his neck, the morsel disappears down 
his throat. Immediately another is searched for 
and found, when the tapping is repeated, and no 
worm responding to the summons, he thrusts his 
long bill, clear to his eyes, into the earth, with- 
drawing it with the worm secured. 

Tiny birds seek the shade of my sheltered 
nook, industriously collecting the green worms 
that drop by their slender silken cords from 
br>anch and twig. One bird I trace to the home 
of her young, where she sits upon the edge of 
the nest, seemingly puzzled to determine in 
which greedy, widely-opened mouth to drop the 
luscious morsel. Yonder, a spider and large black 
ant are having a battle for the mastery that 
promises to completely demolish the handsome 
web that sparkled so brilliantly in this morning's 
sun. While I Avatch the contest, behold ! a little 
brown bird descends from a limb and snatches 
them both, again practically illustrating the theory 
of the " survival of the fittest," and the imperi- 
ous rule of the strong over the weak. 

The sun is rapidly ascending the heavens, send- 
ing down his direct rays that parch the earth, 
making the stones and sand upon the beach hot 
to your feet and the air oppressive to your lungs. 
The campers are all lying about in the coolest 
bits of shade, bewailing the condition of their 
friends in the city, while Fritz and the dog are 



IDLE HOURS. 271 

having a frolic in the water. I notice the birds 
begin to hang their wings, betokening the heat 
outside our shelter, and the crows on the moun- 
tain-side have grown too lazy to caw and clatter 
longer. 

There ! I hear George's horn ! The dinner- 
hour has arrived, so I pass down the pathway, 
cross the foot-bridge, and join the campers on 
the other shore, who have now aroused them- 
selves to partake of the mid-day meal. 

The sanctum is closed for the day. 

" We propose to invade your camp to-morrow 
for a trout dinner. Disappoint us at your peril." 

This brief message, in familiar chirography, 
bearing the well-known initials of two good 
friends, came to us upon a postal-card, one even- 
ing at the supper-table. 

l^ot a trout remained in our ice-box. Indeed, 
but few could be found in the creek willing to 
fasten themselves upon our hooks, for the season 
was wellnigh spent, and the termination of the 
week w^ould bring our vacation to a close. 

" Well," Hamlin said, " I guess we can find 
enough trout between here and Pleasant Stream 
to supply their wants. If we fail, we'll give them 
suckers, — they won't know the difierence." 

In the mornins^, Hamlin and I took down our 
rods and started toward the Slope Wall, over the 
ground that never yet had failed to supply us in 
an emergency like this. 



272 BODINES. 

The water was as clear as crystal, the sun 
shilling brightly, and the trout shy and thoroughly 
familiar with our leaders and flies. Few of them 
remained, of regulation size, that had not aching 
jaws and lacerated lips from testing the quality 
of our tackle. 

As we walked along the high bank, we could 
now and then see a frightened trout darting about 
frantically in search of a hiding-place. 

^' See them scud !" Hamlin exclaimed. " If we 
do not quit these waters soon, every blessed trout 
will die of starvation. I observed one to-day 
cautiously rising to a natural fly. He flapped it 
under the water with his tail, then watched it 
from under a stone to note its behavior. He 
turned it over Avith his nose, and sailed around it 
a dozen times, eying it the while with grave sus- 
picion, doubtless expecting a prick from it every 
moment. When the poor fly regained the sur- 
face of the water, that trout rushed pell-mell down 
stream as though a shark were in pursuit. I doubt 
whether he stopped short of Du Bois's dam." 

" I have frequently seen trout rising to the na- 
tural fly, flapping them under the water with their 
tails, then, wheeling quickly about, take the dis- 
abled insect in their mouths," I said. " I imagine 
they do this in play, sometimes, for I have ob- 
served them leaving the flies occasionally when 
they had so swamped them." 

Chatting upon the habits of the trout and kin- 



IDLE HOURS. 273 

dred topics, we soon reached the Slope Wall. 
Hamlin seated himself upon the bank to arrange 
his leader and adjust fresh flies. The roar of the 
rapid prevented his hearing my approach, and as 
I walked behind him, my line caught in a twig, 
giving the reel a sudden rattle just behind his 
head. Quick as a flash he bounded into the 
creek, leaving his tackle upon the bank. 

" What under the sun is the matter with you ?" 
I asked. 

" Matter ? Matter enough ! I thought a rattle- 
snake had me by the ear ! That confounded reel 
of yours is the best imitation of that venomous 
reptile I ever had the misfortune of listening to." 

The fishing proving poor, and the prospect of 
supplying our friends' wants for dinner on the 
morrow looking unfavorable, I left my companion 
at his favorite pool and walked to the mouth 
of Pleasant Stream. I fished faithfully from its 
mouth to a point above Hunter's mill without 
catching a trout of respectable size. Not wish- 
ing to return until our wants were supplied, I 
sought a shady spot on the bank and lay down, 
waiting for the evening shadows to fall upon the 
stream and for the trout to rise to the natural fly. 

About five o'clock I noticed rises under the 
banks, by some limbs hanging close to the pool, 
against which the flies were driven by the wind 
and then fell into the water. At such places 
large trout are apt to lie, and here I found them. 



274 BODINES. 

I commenced casting, and was rewarded in an 
unusual manner. A better evening for trout I 
do not remember. Almost every cast brought a 
beauty to my landing-net. How I wished for my 
friend ! I wondered too whether he was havins; 
equal sport. On up the stream I went, catching 
a trout from every pool, unconscious of the ap- 
proaching night. A large trout rose, creating a 
Avonderfal splash in a pool bej^ond me. I length- 
ened my line as I waded near him. After one or 
two casts, he came rushing down the pool to meet 
my flies. I struck him before I was aware of it. 
What a splendid fight he gave me ! When at last 
I had him secure in my net, I looked about and 
was amazed to find it almost dark, and I six miles, 
at least, from camp. I hurriedly Avalked down 
the stream, but it grew dark so rapidly that I soon 
was unable to find my ^vay. I came to a deserted, 
rickety stable. I examined it and found the mow 
filled with old hay. I at once resolved to put up 
there for the night, and built a fire by the creek, 
dried my clothing, and cleaned my fish. Hang- 
ing my creel to the limb of a tree and resting my 
rod by its side, I mounted the mow, and buried 
myself in the hay, thankful for so comfortable a 
lodging-place. Lying there, looking from the 
square hole in the loft, I w^atched the moon rising 
from behind the mountain crest, sending its 
silvery light through the tree-tops, until its round, 
full face was seen in the clear heavens. Bats 



IDLE HOURS. 275 

lazily flopped about, feeding upon the beetles 
that went buzzing through the air. A fox barked 
and whined somewhere on the hill-side, porcu- 
pines gnawed the logs in the stable below, while 
the whip-poor-wills made the hills ring with their 
sharp cries. Conscious of my loneliness, the 
scene was a weird one, and I lay there won- 
dering what my companions would think of my 
absence. Presently, some sort of insects began 
creeping over my hands, and played hide-and-go- 
seek down my back and through my hair. Their 
titillations became unbearable after a while and 
drove me from the mow. I went to the creek, 
built a fire upon a large flat rock in the middle 
of the stream, and lay down upon the warm sur- 
face, with a boulder for a pillow ; and there I 
remained during the entire weary night, listening 
to the hooting and screeching of owls, and the 
occasional screams of unknown animals, until 
the day began to break, lighting up sufliciently 
for me to plod my way through the stream to- 
ward the camp. At four o'clock in the morning, 
I arrived in sight of the smoke curling aloft 
above the camp-grounds, when I sent a ''toot 
toot" upon the morning air that possessed a won- 
derful clearness, and brought responsive shouts 
from my companions, who were already up plan- 
ning an excursion in search of me. 

Hamlin had set a line for eels during the night, 
and paddled up the pond with a half-dozen of the 



276 BODINES. 

squirming captives in the bottom of the boat. 
Upon seeing me, he shouted, — 

" I feared you would not be successful in se- 
curing enough trout for dinner, so I concluded to 
dine the company upon eels. We may not pass 
them for trout, being so slender, but they will 
lind them delicious, nevertheless, as are all fish 
taken from these waters." 

Thad Jr. and Charles had spent the previous 
afternoon in snaring suckers from the deep pond. 
They now produced their catch for my inspec- 
tion, exhibiting ten monstrous fellows, any one 
of which would have made a meal for any hun- 
gry person. Charles declared that there was not 
a sucker in the pond that did not have a ring 
around his tail, — a badge showing his escape from 
the ordeal of the wire snare. Even the suckers 
began to fear us, and no longer rooted about 
within reach of our poles. 

One of the campers busied himself during the 
morning in preparing a basket of wild-flowers to 
be sent to his wife, as a birthday present, by our 
returning guests. The basket was woven from 
willow branches, lined with moss, and filled with 
most exquisite wild-flowers, — ^laurel-buds, rhodo- 
dendrons, violets, daisies, meadow-rue, flowering 
grasses, forget-me-nots, honeysuckles, and fifty 
other varieties, artistically arranged and sur- 
rounded with a wreath of blackberry blossoms. 

Our friends arrived by the eleven o'clock train. 



IDLE HOURS. 211 

We met them at the station and paddled them to 
camp, where they were treated to a trout dinner. 
Remaining long enough to hear our evening 
concert from the birds on the mountain-side, 
they left us, with many expressions of delight, 
complimenting our grounds, wondering at the 
array of wild-flowers blooming about us, and 
charmed with the camper's life. 

The day appointed for striking camp has ar- 
rived. Rods are disjointed, wiped dry, and 
placed in their cases ; lines, reels, and fly-books 
packed away; bedclothes folded and stowed in 
the great trunk. Bed-ticks are emptied in the 
open in the rear of the grounds, the straw burned, 
that no wandering tramps may desecrate our 
grounds. The final breakfast, at six in the morn- 
ing, is eaten, and all hands are busy with the 
several duties assigned them. George has washed, 
scoured, and packed the tin-ware.* The tents 



* I must here call attention to a new device in tin- ware for 
camping purposes which I have had constructed since my list 
of tahle-ware was written. Two pressed tin plates are soldered 
together with a half-inch rim around their edges, forming a 
double plate, with a space between the upper and lower one. 
On the edge is a half-inch hole, with a rim to hold a cork. At 
the opposite side an awl-hole is punched. We have six of 
these double plates, and when in use, they are filled with boil- 
ing water. This arrangement keeps your food warm as long as 
you choose to sit at table. I have three larger ones, a foot 
long and eight inches wide in the centre, oval in shape, and 

24 



278 BODINES. 

are down, neatly folded and packed in the camp- 
chest, on top of the cooking ntensils. Tent-poles, 
pegs, and the forked sticks used for the dining- 
room canopy are tied in bundles and carried to 
the rear of the grounds, and left standing against 
the old stub for use next year. Jim Crow sits 
perched on the handle of the basket,-much dis- 
turbed by the confusion and the forsaken appear- 
ance of our surroundings. 

The " Great Eastern" is at her dock, floating 
gracefully under her load. In the centre the 
camp-chest, the great trunk, the smaller trunk, 
and the basket with Jim perched on top. The 
two boys at the bow, holding a flag. Hamlin, 
Charles, Thad Jr., Dixey, and Robert all on 
board, with Squire Bodine at the stern, paddle in 
hand, ready for the start. George and I betake 
ourselves to the smaller boat. Then, with three 
cheers for the dear old camp, we ply our paddles 
and shoot into the deep water of the pond. 

As we start, we hear ominous rumblings be- 
yond the western mountain, and before we are 

with covei's. The intervening space is one inch on the bottom, 
tapering to a point at the rim. When filled with boiling 
water from your teakettle, they will remain so hot for hours, 
as to require them to be handled with cloths. In these, we 
serve our meats, fish, potatoes, and other articles of diet that 
are best kept hot. Do not heat your tin plates by the fire. 
You will not only ruin them, but find them cold by the time 
they reach the table. All the campers are enthusiastic in their 
praise of tVie new plates. 



IDLE HOURS. 



279 



luilf-way oil our journey to the mill, great drops 
of rain lash the pond into a foam. Below the 
otter-slide, Ave paddle under shelter of the pro- 
jecting roeks until the shower has passed, then 
resume our journey towards the station. As we 
touch the landing by the mill, William and John 
appear upon the bank with the oxen and stone- 
boat. But a few minutes are required to disem- 
bark and land our baggage at the depot, where 
we arrive in ample season for the nine o'clock 
train north. 



Dear reader, having landed you at our starting- 
point, may I indulge the hope that the recital of 
the incidents of our vacation has been as inter- 
esting to you as it has been enjoyable and profit- 
able to us? If so it be, perhaps one day we may 
meet in some shady, secluded dell, by a rippling 
mountain brook, and relate to one another, around 
the camp-fire, the joyous experiences of those in 
love w^ith I^ature and the delightful recreation 
of camping out. 




3477